Abstract for: Nutrition Environment, Social Justice and Chronic Diseases: Can Healthcare Industry Align with Paris Climate Agreement Goals?

Climate crisis and ecological collapse are driving the 6th mass extinction of species, threatening human civilization. Available evidence indicates that climate change and related ecological crises have resulted from human activities in the past few centuries. The growth-based economic paradigm is one of the drivers of ecological disasters. With existing government policies, 3.2C° warming is foreseen by the end of the century which does not meet the 1.5C° goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. The healthcare industry is expected to grow by 3.8% per annum until 2040. One major reason for the growth of the healthcare industry is the growing pool of chronic patients over the past few decades globally. The evidence shows that chronic diseases are predominantly driven by our lifestyle habits, and that the more unprocessed, whole plant-based foods, and the fewer animal products and processed foods are consumed; the less likely to develop and die of chronic diseases. Our systems model conceptualizes the aggregate relationships between healthcare sector emissions, chronic disease prevalence, and nutrition habits of human populations. Major influential reinforcing and balancing mechanisms include the GDP growth-based consumerist systems, cultural and psychological aspects of food choices/ environments (broadly categorized as carnism and veganism), and the dominant disease management paradigm of the healthcare system.