Unhealthy eating linked to 1 in 5 deaths according to study

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According to a new study in the Global Burden of Disease, 1 out of 5 deaths are linked to unhealthy eating. The Lancet magazine looks at how a bad diet and a lack of fruit and vegetables consumption can drastically affect our health. 

Global Burden of Disease

Global Burden of Disease is a epidemiological study  that take into consideration statistics from around the globe.  The study ails to analyse: 

  • Mortality;
  • Main illnesses;
  • Risk factors.

This analysis was carried out during the period between 1990 and today.  This type of study, covering an extended time period, help to give very precise results.

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© andreas160578 / Pixabay

Results:  What were the study’s findings?

Several interesting details have come from this study:

1/ Life expectancy has increased by 14 years (58.4 in 1970 in comparison to 72.5 year old in 2016).  Japanese people have the oldest life expectancy (84 years old) in comparison to the rest of the world.  Life expectancy in Britain is 80.96 years (78.2 years for men and 82.3 years for women)  while countries like the Central African Republic has a much lower life expectancy rate of 52.2 years old) 

2/ Infant mortality is continuing to decrease. In 2016, less than 5 million children, less than 5 years old died.  In comparison to 1990 when there were 11 million child deaths, it is clear that there are improvements in health care over the last almost 30 years.

3/ Globally, 72 % deaths are caused by non infectious illness or bad living habits, like:

  • Cardiovascular illnesses;
  • Diabetes;
  • Food;
  • Limited physical activity;
  • Tobacco (7 million deaths globally);
  • Alcohol.
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©Rattankun Thongbun / iStock

What is the cost of living longer?

Here lies the whole problem of our world. Life expectancy is increasing which should be something to celebrate.  That said being said, we often get more ill and then have to endure an illness for longer.

Obesity is one of the main reasons for this situation.  A bad diet that is low in fiber, pulses, wholemeal cereal, fruit and vegetables, nuts, fish based omega-3 and polyunsaturated fatty acids is often the cause.  The study’s authors also insist that the over consumption of salt and sugar poses a problem.  By analysing eating habits, it is easy to see that over eating salt and sugar is often linked with overly-industrial processed foods sold in supermarkets.

According to the study, in 2017, 11 million deaths globally were linked to having a bad diet and lifestyle.  What is more due to these factors, 255 million people saw an alteration in their quality of life.


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