FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7 September 2011
CONTACT: Kian Tavakkoli
Phone: 0044 (0)7985 503906
PLANT-BASED LIFESTYLE COULD SAVE THE NHS BILLIONS OF POUNDS
NGO calls upon UK Government to proactively promote and recommend a plant-based diet as a solution to rising healthcare costs and rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type II diabetes
7 September 2011, London, United Kingdom – In a paper distributed to all MPs in the House Magazine entitled, “Plant-Based Diets: A solution to our public health crisis”, leading physicians reveal that a switch to a diet free of meat and dairy products will dramatically reduce the incidence (and therefore the costs) of the most menacing maladies currently threatening public health, such as obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. London-based NGO, World Preservation Foundation, 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, whilst managing escalating costs in the NHS, WPF has set out proposed measures it believes the Government can implement to meet this challenge.
Chronic diseases are skyrocketing in the UK as insufficient consideration is given to dietary choices and the main cause of these diseases. Current data shows over 60% of the population is overweight or obese. Cardiovascular disease alone kills nearly 200,000 people in the UK every year and costs over £30 billion. The paper details how these chronic diseases can be treated with a simple change in diet.
Leading physician and researcher, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, who directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program in Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, USA, stated: “We are potentially on the cusp of what could be a seismic revolution in health. This will never come about from another pill, another procedure, another operation, or construction of another cardiac cathedral. It will come about when we are able to show the public the lifestyle that will halt and eliminate 75% of these common, chronic killing diseases. The most essential component of this lifestyle is whole food plant-based nutrition.”
Dr Esselstyn’s paper states:
“I initiated a long term study that treated seriously ill patients with coronary artery disease with plant-based nutrition and succeeded in the arrest and reversal of their disease … Patients lose weight, blood pressure normalizes, and type 2 diabetes improves or resolves, as do angina, erectile dysfunction, and peripheral vascular and carotid disease.“ Dr Esselstyn goes on to say:. “Sadly, today our adolescents are but a decade or 2 away from compounding this epidemic. It is time to tell the truth. Family history and genetic background do not cause this illness. It is not the luck of the draw. It is a matter of personal action and responsibility. Genes load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.”
While politicians struggle with mounting NHS costs, a solution to these chronic public health threats is easily at hand. If the Government were to provide public education on the direct link between the disease epidemic and a diet heavy in meat and dairy products, the cost burden would be reduced automatically with lifestyle changes. Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine sums it up nicely, “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.”
Also featured in the paper is Dr Joel Fuhrman, Director of Research for Nutritional Research Project for the National Health Association, New Jersey, who states that “The cure for type II diabetes is already known – removing the cause can reverse the disease, and the chief cause is excess weight from the Western diet and inactivity. The best and safest “medicine” for a diabetic is a high-nutrient density (HND) diet: focused on low-calorie, nutrient-rich plant foods and exercise. Weight loss is effective in itself, but the goal of lifestyle intervention must be to improve pancreatic function and lower insulin resistance over and above what could be accomplished with weight loss alone. An HND diet can accomplish this; by emphasizing micronutrient adequacy, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure are lowered as weight is lost and blood glucose drops. We have extensive experience treating overweight diabetics with superior nutrition and the results are impressive. The majority are able to restore their glucose levels to the normal range without any further need for medications. They have essentially become non-diabetic again.”
Dr Fuhrman highlighted: “New dietary guidelines emphasizing nutrient-rich plant foods can enable modern populations to dramatically improve their health, dramatically reduce healthcare costs, while at the same time save millions of needless deaths from heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes. It is time for an evolution in healthcare where prevention via proper diet, not drugs, becomes the foundation of modern healthcare.”
World Preservation Foundation is calling for more than just mild suggestions to eat more fruits and vegetables. With definitive evidence that a plant-based diet can be a direct and cost effective solution to chronic disease, WPF is asking the Government to lead by example and to initiate nationwide incentives and campaigns for a societal shift towards more plant-based nutrition. According to Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, WPF Executive Director, “Advanced nutrition science has provided us with the simple and cost effective solution of a wholesome plant-based diet for preventing and even reversing these diet related diseases. People can make an informed choice when they know the full facts and that needless suffering and loss of loved ones can be avoided to a large extent.”
He added “Bill Clinton made the change to a plant-based diet after having stint surgery. He knew about the advantages of plant-based diets, but made the change for his daughter Chelsea’s wedding – he wanted to be alive and healthy for his grandchildren.”
Notes to the Editor:
WPF assimilates, documents and presents scientific data relating to climate change; including deforestation, disease, drought and global hunger. It serves as an access-point for information to assist media and concerned parties to engage these topics and to encourage governments, public bodies and other institutions to introduce beneficial legislation and policies resulting in the subsequent mitigation of climate change and minimization of associated human, planetary and economic costs; also safeguarding water supplies, preserving forests, minimizing environmental degradation, improving health and alleviating global food shortages.
The WPF paper, ‘Plant-based Diets: A Solution to Our Public Health Crisis’ can be accessed here: http://www.worldpreservationfoundation.org/references