Things have changed since the 1990s where our global health is concerned, and today, bad diets are deadlier than drinking or smoking, and the leading cause of premature death worldwide. The lack of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, is officially the number one threat to the population that can be prevented through a shift in unhealthy habits.
A group of international researchers have gathered up their resources in order to conduct a large scale study among 188 countries and assessing the risk of 79 factors that might prove themselves to be lethal to the global population. The collected data ranged from between 1990 to 2013, assessing how our lifestyle has changed within thirteen years.
According to the experts, 21% of premature deaths worldwide are caused by bad nutrition, where the population has shifted eating habits to diets filled with red meats and sugary beverages. Indulging in unhealthy food, followed by high blood pressure and smoking are the most common and preventable risks we take that inevitably lead us to early deaths.
In the 1990s, the leading factors in premature global deaths were malnutrition, sanitation, unsafe water and poor hygiene, and while those have fallen further down the list, other have emerged in their place by 2013. Some problems were fixed and made way for a whole batch of news ones that threaten the health of the population worldwide.
In Latin American and the Mid-East, obesity presents with the highest risk for poor health, with other bad habits standing at the number 1 spot in other regions.
For high-income countries, such as the United Kingdom, smoking has become the biggest risk when it comes to premature death, which has seen a significant increase throughout the years. It remained stationary for men, but has lifted by 26.3% for women. It underlines the issue that while smoking rates have recently gone down, it’s still a very important issue that is highly deadly when compared to over a decade ago.
High blood pressure was also attributed to 10.4 million deaths around the world in 2013, with its impact on mortality rates growing by an unfortunately incredible 49.1% in just thirteen years.
For sub-Saharan African countries though, the issues have not changed much since the 1990s, where childhood malnutrition, sanitation, alcohol and unsafe sex still remain prevailing causes of premature death. Almost 38% of South African deaths were caused by issues related to practicing unsafe sex.
Southeast Asia sees pollution as a major risk factor, while other countries such as India also struggle with issues of unsafe water and childhood malnutrition. According to the researchers, there’s a great amount of potential in fixing all these issues by simply living a healthier life and making better choices to benefit our health.
Most of today’s highest risk factors for premature death are preventable, so a change can be made.
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