The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) of the University of Washington decided to study and evaluate the eating habits of people around the world. In the recent study conducted by the institute, it was discovered that the causes of early death have shown how people are still not careful about what food they put into their mouth.

Bad intake of food causes early death

It has been found that poor diet is the cause of one in five deaths around the world. Despite ready access to the information, it is still found that a lot of people opt to eat “what they want when they want to”.

According to a study from Global Burden of Disease, the risk of an early death is the reason of a bad eating diet which consists of low amounts of whole grains, fruit, fish oils, nuts and seeds. A high amount of salt is also part of having a poor diet.

The Lancet medical journal has also published five papers about the causes and risks of death and ill health. According to these studies, life expectancy in 2017 around the world was discovered to be 75.3 years for women, and 69.8 for men.

Life expectancy around the globe

The same study found that people in Japan have longer lifespan, as compared to the other countries, while Central African Republic revealed to be the place with the lowest life expectancy. In Japan, the average living age is at 84 years, while in the Central African Republic, 50 was noted to be the average living age.

In the UK, however, it was discovered that the life expectancy for a man stands at 79 while 82.9 for a woman. There are many risks that were found to be the causes for the short life expectancy in some countries – and a poor diet was found to be the second highest contributing factor.

Unsurprisingly enough, smoking was the number one cause for early death in many countries. Also included on the list of risks are obesity, high total cholesterol, high blood glucose, which in turn can cause diabetes, high body mass index (BMI) and high blood pressure.

Speaking on these findings, Dr Christopher Murray, IHME’s director, expressed that “it is amongst the really big problems in the world. It is a cluster that is getting worse. That constellation is a really, really big challenge for health and health systems.”

What is the “perfect diet”, according to experts

Furthermore, Dr Murray thinks that policymakers do not pay enough attention to the correlation between diet and health. He advised that people should consume more fruits, as it has lots of health benefits.

He also iterated that sugary drinks are harmful to health. While it has been discovered that eating red meat does not really pose as a risk to the health, there should be more importance attached to consuming whole grains.

In general, people should know what they are eating, such as the healthy compounds in their diets that help provide protection and keep their health in check.

“We need to look really carefully at what are the healthy compounds in diets that provide protection,” advised Dr Murray. With these findings, researchers are realising how quickly and big the effect and spreading of obesity-related disease and diet are happening around the world.

Director of health improvement at Public Health England, Prof John Newton, said, “I don’t think people realise how quickly the focus is shifting towards non-communicable disease (NCD) – e.g. cancer, heart disease and stroke – and diseases that come with development, in particular related to poor diet. The numbers are quite shocking in my view.”

Prof Newton went on to add that this is a universal problem that most countries are trying to fix. He said, however, “no country in the world has been able to solve the problem and it is a concern that we really need to think about tackling globally.”

This study also found that more than a billion people around the world have mental health issues with depression being among the top 10 causes of mental health. There are many people as well, who have substance misuse disorders. MIMS

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