Malnutrition is as deadly as smoking

 

Researchers say malnutrition causes more deaths worldwide than any other risk factor.

Eating too much salt, not consuming enough whole grains, or insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables in our dietary habits may be stealing our lives. In a study published last week, researchers looked at data from 195 countries on the impact of malnutrition on death rates. According to this, every year 11 million people die as a result of malnutrition-related diseases because they consume some foods more or some less.

The study’s lead author, Ashkan Afshin, stated that worldwide, malnutrition causes more deaths than any other risk factor. Even smoking, which is a major threat to public health, does not cause as many deaths as malnutrition.

Unbalanced diet is the biggest problem

Afshin said the problem stems not only from what people eat, but also from what they do not eat. In the study, it was determined that 3 million people died because they consumed too much sodium, 3 million people died because they didn’t eat enough whole grains, and 2 million people died because they didn’t eat enough fruit.

The researchers say that these results once again prove the accuracy of the phrase “the secret of a long and healthy life is a balanced diet” that has been repeated by experts for years. Afshin says the researchers tried to calculate the impact of malnutrition on deaths from diseases such as heart disease, by comparing their nutritional data with sales of food products and household expenses over the past 30 years.

In 2017, researchers stated that cardiovascular diseases were the leading cause of nutrition-related deaths. It is followed by cancer and diabetes. New York University Nutrition, Food and Community Health Professor Marion Nestle stated that the research results are based on limited data and inferences, but the results are in line with the reports of public health and medical authorities. Nestle said it has confirmed that a plant-based diet—but not just plant-based—is the healthiest type of diet.

Mediterranean cuisine is the closest to ideal nutrition

Afshin said countries that eat Mediterranean cuisine, which contains healthy fats and fiber, rank high in the study. Israel ranked first with the lowest rates of diet-related deaths, while France and Spain were second and third, respectively. Mediterranean cuisine is seen as one of the healthiest diets, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy fats such as olive oil. While the USA ranked 43rd in the ranking, Uzbekistan, which is known for consuming a lot of pastry, took the last place. In Uzbekistan, 891 people per 100 thousand people die from diseases caused by malnutrition.

Nestlé said that only smokers (or those who smoke near) are at risk of contracting smoking-related illnesses, but that malnutrition is a risk for everyone.

The researchers did not obtain a conclusion that any country is good in all areas. For example, Israel, which was at the top of the list, was at the bottom of the list in consumption of processed meat. However, Afshin thinks that the results will lead people to eat healthier and managers to develop new policies for consuming healthy foods.

Source: Washington Post

Eating too much salt, not consuming enough whole grains, or insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables in our dietary habits may be stealing our lives. In a study published last week, researchers looked at data from 195 countries on the impact of malnutrition on death rates. According to this, every year 11 million people die as a result of malnutrition-related diseases because they consume some foods more or some less. In the study, it was determined that 3 million people died because they consumed too much sodium, 3 million people died because they didn’t eat enough whole grains, and 2 million people died because they didn’t eat enough fruit.

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