One in five deaths is related to unhealthy eating
At least 11 million deaths in the world in 2017 were linked to a poor diet, high consumption of sugar, salt and processed meat, which contributed to people developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes, according to a global study published this Wednesday.
The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet, has determined that among the 195 countries studied the proportion of deaths related to diet was highest in Uzbekistan, while the lowest in Israel. The United States ranks 43rd, China 140th, and India 118th.
"Our findings show that suboptimal diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk globally, including smoking, highlighting the urgent need to improve the human diet in all nations," the study notes.
"Although salt, sugar and fat have been the main focus of the diet policy debate for the past two decades, our assessment shows that the main dietary risk factors for mortality are foods high in salt, low in grains. whole, in fruits, in nuts and seeds, in vegetables and in omega-3 fatty acids, "he adds.
The consumption of healthier foods, such as nuts and seeds, milk and whole grains, was on average too low, with a lot of intake of sugary drinks, processed meat and salt, factors that have led to one in five deaths in 2017 being related to a bad diet.
Study trends for 27 years
The Global Burden of Disease study has studied trends from 1990 to 2017 on the consumption of 15 dietary factors. Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which led the study, said the findings demonstrate what many had assumed for years.
"Poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world," said Murray. "Our evaluation suggests that the main dietary risk factors are a high sodium intake, or a low intake of healthy foods such as whole grains, nuts and seeds, and vegetables," he added.
The study found that people ate just 12 percent of the recommended amount of nuts and seeds - an average consumption of 3 grams a day compared to the recommended 21 grams - and that they drank 10 times the recommended amount of beverages sugary.
Diets high in sugar, salt, and bad fats are recognized risk factors for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and many types of cancer. In a breakdown of diet-related deaths, the study shows that of the 11 million in 2017, nearly 10 million were from cardiovascular disease, about 913,000 from cancer, and nearly 339,000 from type 2 diabetes.
People with diabetes must take utmost care of keeping a check on their blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar is a condition which occurs when blood sugar is above 180 mg/dL. High blood sugar level can be dangerous for people with diabetes and may cause problems in the long run. It can cause vision problems, foot ulcers, kidney failures, heart attacks, damage to the nervous system and much more. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise (especially strength training), and some diet tips can help in maintaining blood sugar levels in diabetics.