Published: Sat, April 06, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

The country where most people die because of an unhealthy diet

The country where most people die because of an unhealthy diet

Poor diet is the world's deadliest health risk, accounting for a fifth of all deaths, a study has shown.

A report in the BBC on the study noted the finding that some 10 million of the 11 million deaths each year attributed to diet were from cardiovascular diseases, or diseases caused by the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels, often in or near the heart or brain.

The countries with the lowest rates of diet-related deaths included Israel, France, Spain, Japan, and Andorra.

An analysis found that an estimated 11 million deaths were attributable to unhealthy diets in 2017.

Poor diet also caused a huge burden of disability, the researchers reported in The Lancetjournal.

The study looked at dietary trends for people in 195 countries between 1990 and 2017. Diets that contained large amounts of red meat, processed foods and sweetened drinks were also found to be the worst.

The largest dietary gaps globally were foods like nuts and seeds, milk and whole grains, the study found. People generally drank too many sugary drinks and ate too much red and processed meat, trans fats and sodium.

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Research carried out by Dr Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington in the United States has found that Israel has the world's healthiest diet, or to be more precise, the world's least unhealthy diet.

We should be eating more whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.

The UK had 127 diet-related deaths per 100,000 people per year, and the U.S. had 170. As the Trump administration and USA lawmakers debate whether able-bodied people who don't work should be entitled to public food assistance, it's clear that many people around the globe struggle to afford healthy foods. The researchers said that the idea of increasing the consumption of a healthy diet needs to be added to policy debates. It's hard to say how the benefits of whole grains may influence the risks of too much sugar, but Afshin says it underscores a problem seen in many countries: The overall pattern of eating could be improved.

What would happen if everyone around the globe began to eat a healthy diet, filling three-fourths of their plates with fruits, vegetables and whole grains?

Dr Anna Diaz Font, from the World Cancer Resarch Fund, said the study's findings are important because they demonstrate the major role that diet plays in the health of individuals and populations. Here's study author Ashkan Afshin of the University of Washington.

"We know that sugar is bad and people eat 10 times as much sugar as is recommended; we know that nuts are good, and prevent disease, and people eat only 12 percent of the recommended amount of nuts; so, we're eating way too much of the bad stuff, and hardly enough of the good stuff", said Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the Center for Functional Medicine of Cleveland Clinic, who did not take part in the study.

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