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Planetary diet

The planetary diet was created by the [1] as part of a report released in The Lancet on 16 January 2019.[2] The aim of the report and the diet it developed is to create a dietary paradigms that have the following aims:[3]

  • To feed a world's population of 10 billion in 2050
  • To greatly reduce the worldwide number of deaths caused by poor diet
  • To be environmentally sustainable as to prevent the collapse of the natural world


To achieve this, it has defined heavy restrictions on the consumption of meat, dairy, and starchy vegetables, specifically red meat. The aim of this is not only to lessen the impact of the meat and dairy industries on the environment, but also to ensure theoretically drastically decrease saturated fat and sugar intake from these food groups.[3]

Red Meat = 14g p/day

Chicken = 29g p/day

Eggs = 13g p/day

Dairy products = 250g (or equivalent) p/day

Starchy Vegetables = 50g p/day

All sugar = 31g p/day

There are also other restrictions on the amount of fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, and oil. This is because the diet is created around a total intake of 2,500 calories a day. But the main focus is on greatly reducing meat, eggs, dairy, and starchy vegetables.


The UK newspaper The Guardian[4] and US news outlet CNN[5] have given the diet positive coverage. In Poland, shopping list app site Listonic says, “it’s a win-win for both your health and the environment”.[6]

Harry Harris, writing in New Statesman, was wary of claims that the diet could transform the world's food system, saying, “It seems churlish to keep placing the onus for climate change onto individual’s behaviour, when we know that 100 companies are responsible for 71 per cent of global emissions."[7]

The World Health Organization withdrew its sponsorship of the EAT-Lancet event following criticism from Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Italy's representative to the Geneva international organizations. Cornado's criticisms included that the proposed diet was nutritionally deficient and that enforcing it would eliminate the consumers' free choice. Cornado also warned against the destruction of traditional diets and cultural heritage, and the economic effects of eliminating animal-based foods.[8]

Follow-up studies

Researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute and Tufts University calculated that nearly 1.6 billion people, mostly located in sub-Saharan Africa and South-Asia, could not afford the cost of the EAT-Lancet reference diet.[9] This study was published in the Lancet Global Health in November 2019.


  1. ^ "The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health". EAT. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  2. ^ "Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems". The Lancet. 2019-01-16. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  3. ^ a b "Lancet Commission Summary Report" (PDF).
  4. ^ editor, Damian Carrington Environment (2019-01-16). "New plant-focused diet would 'transform' planet's future, say scientists". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-08.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Nina Avramova. "This diet could help save lives, and the planet". CNN. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  6. ^ "Planetary Diet Shopping List to Save The World!". Listonic. 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  7. ^ "Why a planetary health diet probably won't save the world". Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  8. ^ Torjesen, Ingrid (9 April 2019). "WHO pulls support from initiative promoting global move to plant based foods". BMJ. 365: l1700. doi:10.1136/bmj.l1700. PMID 30967377. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  9. ^ Hirvonen, Kalle; Bai, Yan; Headey, Derek; Masters, William A. (2019-11-08). "Affordability of the EAT–Lancet reference diet: a global analysis". The Lancet Global Health. 8 (1): e59–e66. doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(19)30447-4. PMC 7024996. PMID 31708415.