Diets link environmental and human health. Rising incomes and urbanization are driving a global dietary transition in which traditional diets are replaced by diets higher in refined sugars, refined fats, oils and meats. By 2050 these dietary trends, if unchecked, would be a major contributor to an estimated 80% increase in global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from food production and to global land clearing. Moreover, these dietary shifts are greatly increasing the incidence of type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and other chronic non-communicable diseases that lower global life expectancies.
If widely adopted, alternative diets that offer substantial health benefits could reduce global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, reduce species extinctions, and help prevent diet-related diseases. The implementation of dietary solutions to the tightly linked diet–environment–health trilemma is a global challenge of great environmental and public health importance.