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News Could plant-based eating save billions in healthcare costs?

Lifestyle

Author: Lisa Published: February 17, 2024

Read the full article at OHE 8/1/24

A UK study confirms that going vegan is a powerful preventative health measure – with the potential to drastically reduce healthcare spending!

Recent research in the UK has found that their public health system, the NHS, could save up to £6.7 billion if everyone in England switched to eating plant-based.

For our Aussie readers, that’s nearly $13 billion in AUD!

Hand flip wooden cube with word wealth to health.
Turns out good health does in fact bring wealth!

The Office of Health Economics (OHE) study found that this dramatic reduction in healthcare costs could be achieved due to a diet rich in plant-based foods lowering the risk of many of the major diseases that currently affect people in the UK and other Western societies, including cancer, heart disease, bone fractures, and stroke. According to the researchers, the majority of the potential savings would come from avoiding almost 1.3 million cases of type 2 diabetes, which is particularly significant due to its impact on people’s quality of life, as well as the financial and resource strain diabetes currently places on the NHS. 

This news is relevant for us here in Australia too, where diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and stroke cumulatively cost our healthcare system more than $6.86 billion each year. 

We know that people on a vegan diet or a vegetarian diet, or a diet that’s higher in plants, have a lower risk of health conditions … just because they’re getting more nutrients and fibre in their diet.

Nicole Dynan, Dietitians Australia

Policymakers and healthcare professionals around the world are increasingly looking to prevention strategies to reduce healthcare budgets – and leading nutritional experts are united in hailing going veg as the single most powerful decision anyone can make to improve their health. So this staggering finding well and truly underlines the writing on the wall:

Shifting towards a healthier, more sustainable plant-based food system could result in truly transformative changes, by relieving the economic pressure on an already-strained global healthcare system, protecting the future of our planet, and improving the health outcomes of countless individuals within the community.Close up image of a woman eating a healthy plant-based meal in her kitchen.Or, the short version: We could definitely all stand to eat more plants! 😉

If you’re keen to do just that, check out these easy practical tips to help you get started.

Guess what? It’s not just healthcare costs we can cut by changing our eating habits. Another study recently showed that by shifting to a mostly plant-based diet, the average Australian family could save over $1800 a year!

Meet Lisa!

Lisa’s love of food is only trounced by her love of animals. So when she announced she’d gone veg, her Hungarian grandmother exclaimed with exasperation, ‘oh Lisa, I knew this day would come’ … before promptly frying up a plate of cauliflower schnitzels. It turns out – from Goulash to Paprikás to the family’s favourite Hungarian sweet treats – plants really can be the centrepiece of any meal!

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