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Bad Diets Are Deadlier Than Smoking, Study Says - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Bad Diets Are Deadlier Than Smoking, Study Says

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By Carlos Gamino

Smoking and high blood pressure – two of the leading causes of death around the world – don’t hold a candle to a bad diet, according to scientific research published in The Lancet, an independent, international weekly general medical journal known for its high standards in selecting research papers.

In a recent study spanning 195 countries, researchers dove into the food consumption habits of adults aged 25 and older between 1990 and 2017. They discovered that 11 million deaths in 2017 alone were caused by a poor diet, broken down like this:

  • 9.5 million deaths were due to cardiovascular disease
  • 900,000 were due to diet-related cancers
  • 330,000 were related to diabetes
  • 136,000 were related to kidney diseases

The number of deaths caused by bad diets dwarfs those caused by high blood pressure and smoking (8 million deaths and 10.4 million deaths, in that order).

The researchers also discovered what most of us already know: a poor diet is linked to a poorer quality of life and the number of years a person lives with disability.

Researchers qualify a poor diet in several ways, but three main characteristics were strongly correlated to these deaths:

  • High intake of sodium (more than 3 grams per day)
  • Low intake of whole grains (fewer than 125 grams per day)
  • Low intake of fruit (fewer than 250 grams per day)
  • High intake of processed meats (over 2 grams)

Diets low in vegetables, nuts and seeds also contributed.

What Do You Think?

Are you conscious about how much sodium you consume or how many whole grains you eat? Will this study have anything to do with lifestyle changes you’ll undertake? I’d love to hear your take on this, so please share your thoughts on  my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino