Potential Health Impact of Increasing Adoption of Sustainable Dietary Practices in Sweden [post]

Emma Patterson, Patricia Eustachio Colombo, James Milner, Rosemary Green, Liselotte Schäfer Elinder
2020 unpublished
BackgroundAn urgent transition to more sustainable diets is necessary for the improvement of human and planetary health. One way to achieve this is for sustainable practices to become mainstream. We estimated the potential health impact of wider adoption of dietary practices deemed by consumers, researchers and stakeholders in Sweden to be niche, sustainable and with the potential to be scaled up.MethodsA life table method was used to estimate the impact - changes in years of life lost (YLL) -
more » ... life lost (YLL) - over periods of 20 and 30 years in the Swedish population had the practices been adopted in 2010-11, when the last national adult dietary survey was conducted. The practices modelled were reducing red and processed meat (by 25%, 50% and 100%), and assuming, for each stage, replacement by an equal weight of poultry/fish and vegetables +/- legumes; reducing milk intake (by 25%, 50% and 100%); and reducing sugar-sweetened beverage intake (by 25%, 50% and 100%). Using population data together with data on cause-specific mortality and relative risks for diet-disease outcomes, impacts were estimated for each scenario separately and in combination, for the outcomes ischaemic heart disease (IHD), ischaemic stroke, diabetes type 2 and colorectal cancer.ResultsFor a "moderate" combination of scenarios (changes at the 50% level), reductions of 513,200 YLL (lower-upper uncertainty estimate 59,400-797,900) could have been achieved over 20 years and 1,148,500 YLL (135,900-1,786,600) over 30 years. The majority (over 90%) of YLLs prevented were related to IHD, and the majority were in men. The singular practice that had the most impact was reducing the intake of red and processed meat and replacing it with a mixture of vegetables and legumes. Reducing milk intake resulted in an increase in YLL, but this was compensated for by other scenarios. ConclusionIf these practices were more widely adopted, they would be expected to lead to improvements in public health in Sweden. Over the long term, this would translate to many premature deaths postponed or prevented from a number of chronic diseases, to the benefit of individuals, society, the climate and the economy.
doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-96236/v1 fatcat:4a42l43bsbfutks7grns2r6a4u