It turned out to be much worse to eat poorly than we might have expected. According to recent research, unbalanced nutrition causes premature death of every fifth person on the planet. Also, scientists have established what type of food most often provokes diseases.
The scientific publication Lancet published the results of the study, which confirmed that an improper diet is more dangerous to health than smoking. From it, 11 million people die every year.
Poor nutrition leads to heart disease, oncology, and type 2 diabetes. Thanks to the research program “The Global Burden of Disease”, in the framework of which the dietary features of residents of different countries were analyzed, scientists have established what types of food most often provoke diseases.
The main nutritional enemies of health
- Experts called to salt the main enemy of health, or rather, it’s excess in the diet. Abuse leads to 3 million deaths per year.
- Another 3 million people die ahead of time due to the fact that their diet lacks whole-grain food.
- Lack of fruit leads to 2 million deaths.
Also, life expectancy by neglecting nuts, seeds, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber is also reduced. And the presence in the diet of food from fast food entails unpleasant consequences.
According to Christopher Murray, director of the University of Washington’s Institute of Indicators and Health Assessment, nutrition is the main factor that determines health. Its role cannot be underestimated.
Approximately 10 million deaths from the total number are the result of diseases of the cardiovascular system, which only confirms the harm of salt. Its excess causes an increase in blood pressure, which can trigger a stroke. In addition, the use of excessive amounts of salt directly affects the health of the heart and blood vessels. Often the result of this is heart failure.
A diet that saves lives
But a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, on the contrary, reduces the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system.
There is no ideal country in terms of nutrition. In different states, certain foods from a healthy and unhealthy diet prevail. However, scientists were able to establish that most of the inhabitants of the planet do not eat enough seeds and nuts. Not so long ago, experts developed a diet that would most likely feed 10 billion people and save many lives. And it necessarily included nuts and seeds.
The reasons why people so rarely eat these foods, Cambridge professor Nita Forumhi calls the stereotype in the first place that you get better from nuts. Also, many simply do not think that nuts and seeds must be in the diet. In addition, they are quite expensive, and not everyone can afford to buy them in sufficient quantities. Nevertheless, these plant foods should be consumed regularly, as they contain very healthy fats.
It can be argued that previously it was repeatedly confirmed: the diet with excessive consumption of sugar and fat is the most harmful. Scientists are arguing about what is more harmful: abuse sweet or eat a lot of fatty foods. And how is the use of red and processed meat related to the development of oncology?
In the world today there is widespread abuse of tasty but unhealthy foods: fast food, sweets, pastries, carbonated drinks. Love for such products can, on average, shorten life by 2 years. However, Christopher Murray notes that even though such food is harmful to health, at the moment the main problem is the lack of nuts, fruits and whole grains in the diet of people. And it is worth changing the orientation of the concept of a healthy lifestyle: to focus not on promoting the rejection of fats and sugar, but rather on promoting healthy foods.
Mortality rates in different countries due to malnutrition
If you analyze the situation with proper nutrition in different countries, you can see that the least number of deaths due to malnutrition in the countries of the Mediterranean region – Spain, France, and others. The smallest number of them in Israel is only 89 per 100 thousand.
The situation is worse in the southeast, south and in the center of Asia. The country with the highest rate of premature mortality is Uzbekistan. Out of 100 thousand, 892 people die from diseases caused by an unbalanced diet.
The largest number of deaths are due to salt abuse in China. Most Chinese dishes contain salt and are generously seasoned with soy salted sauces. And the tendency to eat ready-made food suggests that the indicator will grow.
In Japan, the opposite is true. Here people began to consume much less salt over the past 40 years. And they eat enough fruits and vegetables, which reduces the risk of serious illness.
In the UK, the situation is not critical, but 127 out of 100,000 people die from the consequences of an improper diet. The British eat few such essential foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. So the company “5 a day” appeared, which promotes people to eat at least 5 servings of healthy products a day.
This principle can be guided by residents of other countries who want to improve their diet. But, as calculations show, people in poor regions will not be able to afford the constant observance of the principle of “5 per day.” Otherwise, 52% of the average income will go only for healthy products.
Christopher Murray, director of the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, claims that at any weight, the main thing in a diet is its quality. And not the amount of food consumed. Absolutely everyone should eat less salt, more plant foods. Nita Forumi adds that people often lack the awareness to improve nutrition. But even more often – the opportunity to buy the right products. Their prices are higher than for junk food, so many people continue to buy it, even knowing about the health risk.
Experts believe that lowering the price of natural food products and promoting them will be much more beneficial than large-scale campaigns against sugar and salt. And what do you think?