Home Medicine Study Diet-Related Deaths: These Eating Habits can Threaten your Life

Diet-Related Deaths: These Eating Habits can Threaten your Life


The recently published, Global Burden of Disease Study reveals that every one in five deaths can be prevented by improvement dietary patterns, discarding unhealthy diets and adopting healthier eating patterns.

Statistics reveal that every year, around 11 million premature deaths are reported because of unhealthy eating patterns, and yet, people are still surprised when their risky and unhealthy diets are questioned.

The Global Burden of Disease Study examined dietary patterns and food consumption across 195 countries between the years 1990 and 2017.

Bad diets now kill more people than cigarettes
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The results concluded that non-optimal or unhealthy diets are the culprits behind every one in five deaths, and more hazardous than other life-threatening habits, including smoking tobacco. You see, an unhealthy diet is directly linked with multiple chronic and life-threatening ailments, including multiple kinds of cancers, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease amongst others.

1. Weight Loss Meal Plans

People who adopt the trendiest meal plans and weight loss diets, which deprive them of essential carbs, sugar, and dairy products to stay healthy and eliminate the unwanted fat, will be shocked to hear that such diets are the unhealthiest of all eating habits.

The study reveals that individuals who do not get sufficient amounts of the nutrients present in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, milk, nuts and seeds end up with a greater risk of life-threatening ailments.

Consuming too much sodium, trans fat, process meats, sugary beverages and red meat is also associated with more deaths. More importantly, more than half of the food-associated deaths across the world are caused by insufficient consumption of fruits and whole grains, and excessive consumption of sodium.

Tobacco vs Meat What's the Risk
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A study, conducted by the University of Washington and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, revealed that the consumption of high levels of sodium has been the subject of policy debates for the past twenty years. The research reveals that excessive amounts of sodium is directly associated with risk factors, and the lower intake of whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods aggravates the risk factors further.

Dietitians and experts always advise their patients to establish a wholesome and healthy diet that provides them all the essential nutrients and healthy foods, and eliminates the dietary risk factors. In order to prevent the risk factors of multiple chronic ailments, it is important to focus on diet quality and essential nutrients. Instead of focusing on what foods should not be consumed, it is important to focus on the foods and nutrients you must add to your daily diet.

These popular diets, such as Keto and paleo, are all very restrictive and astray for healthy guidelines because they focus more on what you should eliminate from your diet. For instance, Keto reduces your carb consumption, while Whole 30 eliminates legumes, sugar and dairy products. Any diet that focuses on cutting essential nutrients will only disturb the natural balance.

It is important to add more plant-based foods to your daily diet, while the importance of whole grains and milk simply cannot be stressed enough. The report published by the Global Burden of Disease Study encourages people to include healthy food items with a message of positivity instead of attacking major and essential food groups and spreading a negative message about what you need to eliminate from your diet.

2. Diet-related Deaths across the world

This report studied the diet patterns in 195 countries to determine what eating habits and foods are associated with death and fatalistic chronic ailments. Statistics reveal that the highest rates of diet-related deaths was observed in Uzbekistan, recorded at 892 deaths for 100,000 people. Uzbekistan was followed by Afghanistan and the Marshal Islands, while the United States ranked 43rd with 171 deaths in 100,000 people.

Israel boosted the lowest rate of diet-linked deaths, and the statistics reveal only 89 deaths in 100,000. The report further revealed that in 2017, ten million deaths resulted due to cardiovascular disease, 913,000 deaths resulted due to cancers, and 339,000 deaths due to type 2 diabetes.

The greatest dietary risk factor with life-threatening consequences across the United States, Brazil, Pakistan, Turkey, India, Egypt, Iran, Germany, Russia, and Nigeria is the insufficient consumption of whole grains.

3. Lack of Whole grains & Excess of Sodium

Another recently conducted research revealed that low-carb consumption increases the risk factors of atrial fibrillation, which happens to be a widely prevalent heart rhythm disorder. There is a plethora of research that concludes that both, low carb and high carb diets increase the risk factors of death. However, Keto still remains widely popular across the world, and statistics reveal that this $9.8 billion worth’ industry is expected to reach $12.35 billion by 2024.

The report further reveals that people from Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, China and other Asian countries are consuming excessive amounts of sodium. Traditional Asian cuisine is brimming with salt-rich pastes, sauces, and rice vinegars, and this excessive consumption of salt can spike blood pressure levels, and trigger the symptoms of heart disease.

In Mexico, the greatest risk factor of diet-linked deaths turned out be insufficient consumption of seeds and nuts, which provide the essential omega-3 fatty acids that fortify the heart and prevent the risk factors of heart attacks, strokes and multiple types of cancers. Mexico was also found to be one of the countries with a higher risk of deaths due to excessive consumption of sugary beverages. Mexican diets are also deprived of whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

What truly aggravates the health conditions across Mexico is the unavailability of clean and affordable water, since the tap water is unclean and unfit for consumption. The Mexicans are forced to buy clean drinking water, which prompts them to buy and consume sodas and sugary beverages instead. Since the price of drinking water is high, they prefer consuming processed food items as opposed to vegetables and fresh fruits, amongst whole grains and other grocery items.

Another striking fact to note about Mexico is the fact that it is one of the greatest producers of organic and fresh fruits and vegetables, including avocados. However, all these healthy crops are exported to the US and other countries instead of being distributed and consumed across Mexican cities. Statistics reveal that 90% of the avocados produced by Mexico land in the United States, to fulfill the American cravings of guacamole and avocado smoothies.

The report of the Global Burden of Disease Study advocates the urgency for interventions into the food production and distribution system, alongside dietary policies to assist each countries on the dietary habits and regulations that are specific to their needs. In order to help their citizens adopt a well-balanced and healthy diets, the countries must focus on producing and distributing the healthy foods their citizens are missing.

It is important to note that while adding healthy things to their diet, be sure to remember that adding essential nutrients is more significant than eliminate the unhealthy foods. Keep yourself focus on improving your diet quality rather than eliminate all your food cravings and guilty pleasures. After all, there is truly no food that bad and awful that you should never eat it again.

Focus on the bigger and broader picture, and reimagine your diet with the agenda of eating more plant based foods, and all the healthy items that are missing from your diet. Be sure to adopt a mindful and moderate eating pattern, so you can enjoy all the foods you love, and the foods that you never enjoyed before.

Study Source:

Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017

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