Every fifth person in the world dies prematurely due to malnutrition


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An ill-balanced diet every year leads to the premature death of 11 million people, according to an official study published by the scientific journal Lancet.

Scientists have found that eating poorly poses a greater risk to life than smoking – and today is the cause of every fifth death in the world.

Above all, it shortens the life expectancy of salt, wherever it is – in bread, soy sauce or ready-made dishes.

At the same time, according to researchers, his work is not dedicated to the problem of obesity, but a poor diet that hurts the heart and can cause cancer.

The Global Disease Burden Research Program is considered to be the most authoritative source for assessing the causes of death for people around the world.

The present study took into account the peculiarities of nutrition in different countries to find out how they affect life expectancy.

A diet is considered dangerous in that:

  1. Excessive salt – 3 million deaths
  2. Lack of whole products – 3 million deaths
  3. Fruit shortage – 2 million deaths

Other serious factors that contribute to premature death include the almost complete absence of nuts, seeds, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids contained in seafood and dietary fiber.

"According to our observations, nutrition is one of the key determinants of health in the world. It's of paramount importance," said Christopher Murray, director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Assessment and Assessment, in an interview with Bi-bi Yes.

How can food kill a person?

Of the 11 million deaths associated with an unduly balanced diet, about 10 million are the result of cardiovascular disease, which further strengthens the danger of overconsumption of salt.

Excessive salt leads to an increase in blood pressure, and this, in turn, increases the risk of developing a heart attack or stroke.

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Salt is an integral part of many dishes.

Salt can also directly affect the heart and blood vessels, leading to heart failure.

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables have the opposite effect. They help the heart to work and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Other diseases that also result from poor nutrition and lead to premature death include cancer and type 2 diabetes.

How are things in the world with a healthy diet?

There are no ideal countries for this indicator. Different countries give preference to one or another aspect of a healthy diet, but the main question is how is the situation with respect to healthy eating rules in the world as a whole.

Nuts and Seeds

According to the study, the diet of most people in the world does not have nuts and seeds.

Attentive readers will surely remember that these products were mentioned in the diet developed by scientists for the planet's population, which could save lives, save the planet and feed 10 billion people.

So why do not we gnaw them every day?

"There was an opinion that these are energy-filled bags that make it easier to gain weight." In fact, they do contain healthy fats, and many simply do not consider it as a mandatory daily diet. high cost of these products "- says Cambridge University professor Nita Foruhi.

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Nuts should be regularly included in the diet.

Are not sugar and meat the most harmful products?

Worse than it is worse – excessive consumption of fat or sugar as well as the connection between eating red meat and processed with the advent of cancer in recent years has often shone in the news.

"These are really dangerous factors, as we showed in the study, but compared to the underutilization of whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables, this problem is less relevant," Murray explains.

The study also states that throughout the world there has been excessive consumption of carbonated beverages.

Scientists believe it's time to shift the focus of campaigns that promote a healthy lifestyle: not discuss the amount of fat and sugar, but focus on the benefits of healthy eating.

Tasty but junk food

On average, malnutrition reduces life expectancy in two years, the researchers found.

However, according to Murray, this is just an average indicator, and in fact the question everyone should ask themselves should be: "Am I going to die at the age of 50 of a heart attack? Or – I'm going to die at 40 with something? cancer, which is caused by poor nutrition? "

Are there countries where anything with a healthy diet is good?

The Mediterranean countries – in particular France, Spain and Israel – are characterized by the extremely low mortality associated with malnutrition.

The opposite situation has developed in the countries of the Southeast, South and Central Asia.

  • In Israel, the lowest mortality rate associated with malnutrition – 89 cases per 100,000 people per year.
  • In Uzbekistan, this number is the highest – 892 deaths per 100,000 people per year.

There is a curious difference between salt consumption in Japan and China.

Chinese national cuisine is filled with dishes with soy and other sauces, which contain a huge amount of salt.

But because of the growing popularity of ready-made meals, the amount of salt consumed continues to grow. The country has the highest mortality rates in the world associated with rising salt in the diet.

"Japan is interesting because, 30-40 years ago, as in China, salt was consumed in large quantities," says Murray. "Salt is still a big problem now, but its consumption has dropped dramatically, while the Japanese diet is rich in foods, for example, vegetables and fruits – which protect against the onset of heart disease."

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Soy sauce is popular in Asian countries

How are things in Britain?

Britain lags behind countries like France, Denmark and Belgium.

The main reason is insufficient content in the diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

According to one study, 14% of deaths in Britain are due to poor diet. That's 127 cases per 100,000 people.

What to do

"The quality of the diet is of great importance regardless of the person's weight," Murray said. "First of all, it is necessary to increase the consumption of whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables, as well as reduce the amount of salt consumed."

In Britain, there is a campaign aimed at increasing the share of fruit and vegetables in the diet. It is called "Five a Day" and provides for the daily consumption of at least five servings of fruits and vegetables.

However, it is estimated that in poor countries, this diet would "consume" 52% of average family income.

"People can choose a healthy lifestyle if they have enough information and enough money to do it. But if the stores sell products injurious to the stock" two for the price of one, "all arguments will be useless, warns Nita Foruhi . low-cost health food options. "

Murray and Foruha are unanimous in stating that it is necessary to shift the focus from harmful components (fat, sugar, salt) to an explanation of what is good food.


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