Bad Diet Kills More People Worldwide Than Tobacco

Essay on another side of diets…

We all know how harmful trans-fats, salt and sugar can be for our health. Yet, a recent major study finds that it’s not so the junk food that we consume that is responsible for 11m deaths globally but the lack of healthy foods in our diets. That is, it’s not enough to exclude harmful products from our consumption but it’s also important to include healthy and nutritious food into our everyday eating habits.

Researchers emphasize that those 11m deaths caused by unbalanced diets are in fact preventable and the global shift to the promotion of better nutrition must be made in favor of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes, and so much more.

Such diet-related illnesses as strokes and heart attacks are in the top of death causes. They are followed by different variations of cancer and type 2 diabetes. It was estimated that one in five deaths globally could be prevented even though diets may significantly vary from one country to another.

What’s more, the number of deaths caused by poor diets is higher than any other risk worldwide, even such as smoking, which is responsible for 8m deaths globally. This demonstrates how serious the situation is and how important it is to start acting urgently.

A significant amount of public resources are aimed at persuading people to decrease sugar, salt and fat intake. In fact, what would be more efficient is to make an accent on the increase of healthy foods consumption.

In the course of the research, 15 various nutrients were studied. Some of them are supposed to be good for health while some are considered to have a less prominent health effect. Researchers concluded that the main risk factors appeared to be excessive intake of salt, sugary drinks, preserved products and processed red meat. Low consumption of fiber, whole grains, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids was also indicated as a high-risk factor.

Currently, none of the countries worldwide can boast with optimal dietary habits of its citizens. Yet, Mediterranean cuisine is one of those who comes very close to eating healthy due to the increased availability of such nutritious products as nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

Israel is one of the countries the toll of diet-related diseases of which has the lowest rate. The highest rate of illnesses caused by poor eating habits is in Uzbekistan. Japan, Spain, France, Lebanon and Iran are in the top of the list while the UK and the US ended up on 23rd and 127th place respectively.

Overall diet should also be paid attention to since adopting individual healthy products is good but the way the foods are consumed and the lifestyle of the individual also influence on the potential development of diet-related diseases. Overeating of high-density products (even if they are considered to be great for health) and sedentary way of living cause imbalance in diet and increase the risk of health complications.  

As we can see, the health of each individual and planetary health, in general, are under threat and changing dietary habits is important if someone wants to live a long and healthy life. It is important to promote sustainable production, efficient distribution and correct consumption of healthy foods internationally to prevent as many deaths as possible.