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Unhealthy diet- A major cause of premature death.


An unhealthy diet is a major cause of premature death all over the world. As per studies conducted by the leading authorities on global diseases. It was found that red meat and sugar-sweetened beverages consumption contribute to approximately 21% of global deaths. Around 11 million deaths per year are linked to an unhealthy diet. We on planet earth consume too many sugary drinks, too much salt, and too much-processed meat as unhealthy food. In place of healthy food such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. In India, less intake of whole grain is the leading risk factor for death and disability



As per the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)- A combination of dietary factors from eating too few fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains to too much sodium and cholesterol is taking a toll on the health of people in the U.K. and all over the world. Thus making unhealthy diet- a major cause of premature death.



Why an unhealthy diet is considered a major cause of premature death?



The global burden of disease study in a paper published in The Lancet concluded that an unhealthy diet due to its contribution to non-communicable diseases is responsible for 1 in 5 adult deaths in 2017. The study was conducted on dietary consumption between 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries focusing on 15 types of food or nutrients.



"This study shows that poor diet is the leading risk factor for death in the majority of the countries of the world", Says study author Ashkon Afshin of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Unhealthy diets are "a larger determinant of ill health than either tobacco to high blood pressure". he says.



Around 800 million people all over the world don't get an optimum diet. Whereas approximately 1.9 billion people are overweight. Hunger and obesity- both are contributing to malnutrition. People all over the globe not just require food. But they need good nutrition to stay healthy. If we rely on unhealthy diets containing- snacks made from refined carbohydrates and sugary sodas. The calories gained from such foods will push us on the path towards diseases like- obesity, high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, and a certain type of cancer. Which are the major risk factors for deaths. Thus making an unhealthy diet- A major cause of premature death.


Unhealthy diet a major cause of diseases causing premature deaths
Unhealthy diet a major cause of diseases causing premature deaths


Few  Global Facts:-


  • Poor diet is linked to an app. 10.9 million deaths.
  • App. 9.5 million deaths from cardiovascular diseases.
  • App. 913090 deaths from cancer.
  • App. 338714 deaths from diabetes.
  • Heart attack and stroke are the major diet-related causes of death, followed by diabetes and cancer.


What is an unhealthy diet and why it is considered a major cause of premature death?


Unhealthy diet- A major cause of premature death.
Unhealthy diet- A major cause of premature death.


An unhealthy diet lacks the necessary balance of the nutrients required for keeping our body healthy. An average American diet contains too many calories and a very less quantity of fruits and vegetables.



Four out of ten top risk factors for death are linked to unhealthy diets. These are high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol levels. Inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancers.



High consumption of salt, saturated fats, and trans fats leads to high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases- A major risk factor for premature deaths.



Some examples of an unhealthy diet.



In general, foods that contain added sugars, refined grains, or processed fats are unhealthy. And their excessive use should be avoided for maintaining good health. Following are few foods that can be considered unhealthy:-



Sugary Drinks:- Most drinks with an added sugar create a harmful impact on health. It can lead to obesity and overweight. Which are the risk factors for many diseases.



Most pizzas:- Commercially made pizzas may contain unhealthy ingredients. However homemade pizzas prepared from healthy ingredients in optimum quantity are good for health.



White bread:- Consumption of white bread for longer durations are not good for health.



Most fruit juices:- Fruit juices are mostly considered healthy. But fruit juices mostly contain larger amounts of added sugars which is harmful to the body.



Icecreams:- Icecreams are loaded with added sugars and are harmful to the health on excessive consumption.



French fries and potato chips:- French fries and potato chips are rich in calories. On excessive consumption, it may lead to obesity and gain in weight than normal limits.



Sweetened breakfast cereals:- Breakfast cereals may contain added sugars. Which is harmful to health.



Fried, grilled, and broiled food:- Frying, grilling, or broiling of food are the unhealthy options of cooking food.



Pastries, cookies, and cakes:- Excessive consumption of pastries, cookies, and cakes are not good for health. They lack nutrients and are high in calories made up of fat and sugar. Thus considered as an unhealthy food for a longer period of consumption.



Candy bars:- Candy bars contains sugar, refined wheat, and processed fats. Therefore not considered- healthy.



Processed meat:- Consumption of processed meat is linked to many serious ailments like- colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore it is not good for health as it is loaded with an excessive quantity of salt and sugar.



What is a healthy diet?


Healthy diet for maintaining good health.
Healthy diet for maintaining good health


To maintain and improve overall health. And to facilitate the normal functioning of all body parts healthy diet is essential. A healthy diet contains a balanced combination of all required nutrients for optimal body functions, growth, and development. A healthy diet may contain seasonal fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and very little or no processed foods or added sugars.



A healthy and balanced diet provides nutrition for different body functions. For healthy living most of the calories from our daily nutrition should come from:-


  • Seasonal fresh vegetables.
  • Seasonal fresh fruits.
  • Whole grains.
  • Legumes.
  • Nuts.
  • Lean protein like- white-fleshed fish, yogurt, beans, peas, lentils, skinless white poultry meat, etc.


A balanced healthy diet not only provides the nutrition for effectively functioning of different body parts. But it also provides protection from infections, strengthens body immunity, optimizes performance, and relieves fatigue. For more details about-Vegetables- The ultimate source of nutrition and protection. <<-- Please click the link.



Children who do not get a healthy diet may face development and growth issues. They may perform poorly in their studies and may get frequent infections. A healthy and balanced diet generally contains the following nutrients:-


  • Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Healthy fats
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates including fibers and starches.


The study found that eating and drinking better can prevent one in five deaths around the world.



Leading dietary risk factors for mortality are diets- rich in Sodium, low in whole grains, low in fruit, low in nuts and seeds, low in vegetables, and low in omega-3 fatty acids each accounting app 2% of global deaths. A study suggests promoting a healthy diet and discouraging the consumption of unhealthy diet as sweetened beverages and junk food rich in sodium and trans fats may help in preventing premature death rate.



Wishing all to be in a healthy state by eating healthy and avoiding unhealthy foods.



(For awareness purpose only).



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Surinder Bhalla.

Surinder Bhalla

40+ Years of experience in the healthcare industry. Both modern medicine and Ayurveda.

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