Bad Diet Kills More People Than Smoking

Very few Americans eat the correct amount of fruits and vegetables daily. Many times our lives get busy, and it’s easier to eat something fast and easy without getting the vegetables out to wash, cut up, cook and eat. Frequently, when we fall short of our own diet goals, we comfort ourselves by thinking of the bad habits and health problems we don’t have. However, if you’ve been counting on the fact that you don’t have high blood pressure and you don’t smoke to counterbalance a poor diet, you’re out of luck.

A study in The Lancet found that a poor diet was the leading cause of preventable deaths globally. It killed more people than smoking. They found that diets high in salt but low in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, omega-3s, nuts and seeds were at the root of an exceptional number of deaths. The CDC had previously warned up that only one out of every 10 American’s were eating enough fruits and vegetables, but hearing that diet is causing so many deaths is still shocking.

Scientists looked at the eating habits of people older than 25 in 195 countries for more than 25 years. They saw that 11 million deaths (or 22 percent) of the deaths that they recorded were due to bad diets. They also noted that a poor diet was linked to a higher chance of having lived with a disability prior to dying. Although, that might not be a case of cause and effect. Tobacco use was linked to 10.4 million deaths, and high blood pressure was linked to eight million deaths.

This news alarms us. The main thing we read here is that we really must lower out salt intake and eat more fruits and grains. They were the three most significant factors that the researchers saw. Vegetables, nuts and seeds — while also important — didn’t have as large of an impact or mortality numbers. It can be hard to notice just how much salt we eat, especially because of processed foods. This research impresses upon us the importance of reading labels. We want to live happy, healthy long lives and we want that for you too! So, this year, let’s all work toward healthier diets. Let’s read the labels and hit the produce section more. It could just save our lives!
February 03, 2020
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