"EXHORTATION OF DIETARY GUIDELINES BY THE GOVERNMENT"

“EXHORTATION OF DIETARY GUIDELINES BY THE GOVERNMENT”

A BOON OR A BANE

Greenhouse gas emissions linked with the national dietary guidelines have been advising a restorative diet range between different countries. These greenhouse gases are primarily based on the carbon footprints of the countries, with the United States having the largest carbon footprint and India having the lowest as compared to the study of seven countries, which are Germany, India, The Netherlands, Oman, Thailand, Uruguay, and The United States.

“EXHORTATION OF DIETARY GUIDELINES BY THE GOVERNMENT”

The question that might arise is what exactly are carbon footprints, right?

Carbon footprints are the number of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon-Di-oxide, released into the atmosphere by an individual’s particular activity, a community, or a country known as carbon footprint.

"EXHORTATION OF DIETARY GUIDELINES BY THE GOVERNMENT"

The variation of carbon footprints of all the countries results from differences in an appeal for food consumption by that particular country’s government. These foods are segregated into six different groups, which are –

  • Dairy products
  • Grains
  • Fruits/ Vegetables
  • Oils/ Fats

According to an unknown author’s reports, previous simulations have shown that people’s diets be healthier. They would have a lower carbon footprint if the public were to eat according to their government’s appeal. The United States government had adopted the above simulation and everyone’s shock, but the government showed the opposite. After people started following the above simulation, the greenhouse gas emission ended up increasing. This abnormality resulted in the mere investigation of how greenhouse gas growth due to dietary guidelines varies from one country to another.

A team of researchers was associated with studying the differences between the dietary guidelines and food consumption patterns of seven different countries, viz., Germany, India, The Netherlands, Oman, Thailand, Uruguay, and The United States.

The recommended dietary guidelines associated with India were equivalent to 0.86 kg of carbon-Di-oxide per day, which was found to be way too low compared to that of the United States. The difference between different countries’ dietary guidelines was based on a wide range of the daily recommended amount of two types of food that is protein and dairy foods.

The recommendation of protein foods differed in every country based on foods used under the head of proteins or the different sources of proteins. They are stated as follows –

  • Animal proteins in countries like Germany and Uruguay
  • Plant and animal protein in countries like Thailand and the United States.
  • Just plant protein in India.
  • Vegetarians in the United States consumed l Plant protein, dairy, and eggs.

The amount of these food types consumed by people is directly proportional to the amount of increase in the country’s carbon footprint. For example – Uruguay accounts 31% of protein foods with the consumption of foods like beef, mutton, and lamb, whereas in Germany, it accounts for only 16%. Thus, according to the above example, the calculated greenhouse gas emission for Uruguay’s protein food recommendation amounts to 53% more than Germany, even though both these countries consume animal-based protein foods.

For evaluating the overall impact of diet, the environmental impacts such as land and water use must be considered and not just a single environmental impact of diet, greenhouse gas emission. This study limits its stereotype to other countries as it is restricted to only seven countries’ daily dietary guidelines.

The above article holds a perception for the development of dietary guidelines such as reducing animal-based protein food or dairy recommendations and inclusion of more plant-based protein foods in our daily diets. Therefore, to state that exhortation of dietary guidelines by the government is a boon or a bane is uncertain, as it may or may not affect any particular country’s carbon footprint, based on the type of food consumed by the people of that particular country.

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