YOUR DIET PREDICTS HOW & WHEN YOU DIE
A study published this year (2017) in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that what you eat plays a substantial role in how and when you die. It points out that “…dietary habits influence many risk factors for cardiometabolic health, including heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, which collectively pose substantial health and economic burdens.”
The study evaluated dietary habits in the U.S. and globally.
REPUTABLE RESEARCHERSThe authors of the study included several noted researchers, and was headed by Dr. Renata Micha of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston.
BY THE NUMBERS
The study asks the key question: “What is the estimated mortality due to heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes (cardiometabolic deaths) associated with suboptimal intakes of dietary factors?” It found that what it calls “suboptimal intake of dietary factors” – in simple terms, a poor diet – “was associated with an estimated 318,656 cardiometabolic deaths, representing 45.4% of cardiometabolic deaths. The highest proportions of cardiometabolic deaths were estimated to be related to excess sodium intake, insufficient intake of nuts/seeds, high intake of processed meats, and low intake of seafood omega-3 fats. Suboptimal intake of specific foods and nutrients was associated with a substantial proportion of deaths due to heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes.”
CONFIRMATION FROM OUTSIDE REVIEWERS
Outside reviewers confirmed that the reported findings are largely correct: a substantial proportion of CMD (cardiometabolic) deaths and diseases are associated with a less-than-ideal diet. The study, and the reviewers, believe that improving diet quality would help prevent a large fraction of CMD deaths and reduce health disparities among various populations. The reviewers write that “for the potential effects of improved diet, the likely benefits are substantial and justify policies designed to improve diet quality.”