04/05/22 Vegan diet may save billions of kunas for Croatian healthcare!

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Animal Friends Croatia in view of the World Health Day points out the facts of enormous advantages of a meatless diet

- Changing a diet saves lives, maintains health and saves large amounts of taxpayers’ money

Animal Friends Croatia, encouraged by the recent Taiwan study, in view of the World Health Day held every year on the 7th of April, points out the huge potential of a vegan diet for people's health prevention and savings in Croatian healthcare as well as environmental health preservation.

Namely, the study carried out in Taiwan showed that the subjects who maintained a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and legumes spent 15% less time in doctors’ offices and in hospitals as compared to those who consumed high portions of food of animal origin.

This does not come as a surprise considering that a review of many other scientific researches, carried out throughout the world for several years now, shows the same results. A recently published study showed that individuals on a vegan diet are less exposed to the risks of more severe symptoms and complications after being infected with COVID-19. A vegan diet reduces the risk of diabetes type 2 almost by double and also reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, hypertension and arthritis.

On the other hand, Croatia within its health system is exposed more frequently to problems caused by poor and inferior quality diets. Let’s remember that, Eurostat published a study in 2021. that undoubtedly proved that Croatians are the most obese nation in Europe. If to this we add the fact that in our country heart and blood vessels diseases are the leading causes of death, it is clear why Croatians have the etiquette of one of the unhealthiest nations within the entire European Union.

If the Taiwan study would be taken into consideration by the Croatian healthcare that would mean that, by changing the diet to vegan, we could improve the health of a large number of citizens, prevent diseases and save huge amounts of taxpayers’ money. As per the Taiwan study and taking into the account HZZO budget, that would be as much as 3,5 billion kunas per year!

Health also includes environmental health prevention being the theme of the World Health Day 2022., with the slogan „Our Planet, Our Health”. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO), points out the necessity of „converting agricultural subsidies towards sustainable and healthy food production”. Animal agriculture is responsible for soil erosion, forest destruction, air and water pollution, extinction of species and global warming. By reducing meat, milk and eggs from our diet we can reduce our carbon print even as much as 70%.

Vegan diet advantages are significant and proven in numerous researches but Croatia is far from feeling these riches amongst the general population. But this can and must be improved in favor of the Croatian healthcare and Croatian citizens who have the right to education and direct incentives for eating more vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, seeds, nuts and fruits.

Animal Friends Croatia's opinion is that Croatia requires much more serious programs for the prevention of diseases directly connected to meat consumption and for those that can be prevented by a plant-based diet. Therefore, World Health Day is a good opportunity to present the fact of possible savings in Croatian healthcare, measured in billions of kunas, and even more importantly – the fact that a large number of people’s lives would literally be saved and their lives improved in quality.

More information on vegan diet advantages for people’s health and environment, Veggie challenge and free-of-charge 30-day Veggie Guide can be obtained on www.vegan.hr.

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