90% of deaths in Australia are caused by chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Many of these diseases are caused by lifestyle behaviours, with diet and nutrition being a primary factor.
In the lead-up to the Federal election, ALP leader Bill Shorten has announced a $300 million plan to tackle the "chronic disease crisis". Initiatives include encouraging physical activity and healthy eating and making healthy food available in schools, workplaces and communities.
Vegan Australia has long called for government health bodies to become more active in promoting plant-based diets. A diet based on unrefined plant foods has been scientifically demonstrated to not only help prevent but even to reverse many of these chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, at a much lower cost than current medical and surgical treatments, and with the added bonus of being entirely free of adverse effects.
The Labor Party also proposes to expand the Victorian Health Department's Better Health Channel into a national health information platform. The Better Health Channel currently says that vegan diets have many health benefits and can provide all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for a long and healthy life. It says that vegans "have lower rates of illness and death from a number of degenerative diseases." Vegan Australia backs these views of the Victorian government and supports the expansion of this program nationally.
The plan will also target communities that are most at risk of chronic disease and invest in keeping them healthy. Vegan Australia campaigns for equitable access to healthy vegan food for all Australians, including those living in regional and remote areas. Affordable and adequate fresh fruits and vegetables and other plant foods should be accessible to all, irrespective of income or where they live.
This plan is a positive step forward. It recognises that a plant-based diet can not only be adequate for all stages of life, but can actually be healthier. The next step will be for Australian governments to recommend plant-based diets, not just for health, but also to help the environment and people, but mainly because it is the right thing to do for animals.
Source: The New Daily