The WPF stated in a letter to the prime minister that the government can take the international lead in the advocacy and implementation of healthier plant-based policies and incentives, setting a benchmark in healthcare, environmental protection and policy innovation.
Acknowledging the challenge of protecting and improving public health, while managing escalating costs in the NHS, the WPF has set out proposed measures it believes the government can implement to meet this challenge.
Current data shows that over 60% of the UK population is overweight or obese. Cardiovascular disease alone kills nearly 200,000 people in the UK every year and costs over £30bn. The paper details how these chronic diseases can be treated with a simple change in diet.
Leading physician and researcher Dr Esselstyn, who directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal programme in Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, US, said: “Our adolescents are but a decade away from compounding this epidemic. It’s time to tell the truth. Family history and genetic background do not cause this illness. It’s not the luck of the draw, it’s a matter of personal action and responsibility. Genes load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.”
Dr Neal Barnard, founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said: “Many people still have no idea that food choices make such an enormous difference. Not only can healthier choices tackle the obesity epidemic, they also help us reverse heart disease, prevent cancer and reduce the risk of other major health problems. Now is the time to spread the word far and wide.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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