Poor eating habits killing millions globally, study says
Poor eating habits killing millions globally, study says
Image Courtesy Pixabay
04 April, 2019, 23:40
In a breakdown of diet-related deaths, the study found that of the 11 million in 2017, nearly 10 million were from cardiovascular diseases, around 913,000 from cancer, and nearly 339,000 from type 2 diabetes.
The report highlighted large variation in diet-related deaths among nations, with the highest-risk country, Uzbekistan, having 10 times the food-based mortality rate of the lowest risk, Israel.
Astonishingly, it found that our daily diet is a bigger killer than smoking and is now involved in one in five deaths around the world.
Among the 20 most populous countries, Japan had the lowest rate of diet-related deaths, with salt being the top risk factor. The U.S. ranked 43rd.
People across the world are eating too much of the wrong food and much too little of the healthy types, a study in the journal "The Lancet" says.
Those diseases are heavily influenced by high amounts of salt in the diet, which can cause spikes in blood pressure, as well as directly affecting the functioning of the heart.
In Bangladesh, low intake of fruits - below 250 grammes per day - was the leading dietary risk.
Lack of those foods is a more significant predictor of diet-related illness and death than over-consumption of sugar and red meat, which gets most of the dietary attention.
Afshin said these findings have major health implications.
He said instead of just focusing on messages that people should avoid unhealthy foods like processed meat and sugary drinks, "the ideal scenario would focus on healthy replacements for unhealthy foods".
The study also pinpointed the key elements of a healthy diet that not only prevents those deaths, but can actually actively protect consumers' bodies from the illnesses measured: nuts, seeds, seafood, fiber, fruits and vegetables. "That should be the focus of public health interventions". While the research uses the best available data, there are gaps in the data available for intake of key foods and nutrients around the world, which increases the statistical uncertainty of these estimates.
One in five deaths globally is linked to poor diet, experts said in a study released Thursday, warning that overconsumption of sugar, salt and meat was killing millions of people every year.
The report noted that in some poorer countries, the elements of a healthy diet are too expensive for many people to access, and urged policy changes to improve that access.
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