The current human diet is causing 'catastrophic' damage to the planet

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The panel has estimated that about 820 million people worldwide now have insufficient food and many more eat unhealthy diets that contribute to health disorders and premature deaths.

It insists that not only would people be healthier, but it would also reduce the damaging effects of climate change, soil erosion, deforestation and loss of biodiversity.

"Global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double, and consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by more than 50%", the report reads.

The proposed flexitarian diet - rich in vegetables and fruits, and light on animal source foods - could have profound affects on both the health of humans and the planet, according to the report, which was organized by Stockholm-based non-profit EAT.

A considerable increase in plant-based diets is also necessary to ensure the earth's resources do not run out.

While permitting variations based on local need and culture, the diet allows for an average of just 7g of red meat per day and 500g of vegetables and fruits.

Eggs would be restricted to around 1.5 per week.

'We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before.

"While this is unchartered policy territory and these problems are not easily fixed, this goal is within reach and there are opportunities to adapt worldwide, local and business policies".

An global panel has released the first scientific targets for healthy diets worldwide through sustainable food production that will require Indians to increase their protein consumption and curtail their intake of potatoes.

Presenting the diet at a briefing on Wednesday, the researchers said they acknowledged it was very ambitious to hope to get everyone in the world to adopt it, not least because there is vast global inequality of access to food.

The new report was published January 16 in The Lancet journal.

-Incentivizing farmers to shift food production away from large quantities of a few crops to diverse production of nutritious crops.

Feeding a growing population of 10 billion people by 2050 with a healthy, sustainable diet will be impossible without transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food waste, he said.

"The world's diets must change dramatically", Dr Walter Willett, a Harvard University nutrition expert who was part of the commission, said in a statement.

People in all countries now eat far more starchy vegetables such as potatoes and cassava (a tuber similar to yam) than recommended under the target diets, but the margins vary from region to region.

He added that the food group intake ranges recommended by the Commission were flexible enough to accommodate different agricultural systems, cultural traditions, and individual dietary preferences.

The report's authors state, "In a review, the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concluded that for people older than 2 years, a balanced vegetarian diet can be a healthy eating pattern".

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the free market Institute of Economic Affairs, said: 'They say "You are what you eat" and that must be true because this is nuts.

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