By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach
A few years back I was having a coffee with an eminent professor who said something along the lines of this:
"You and I disagree on this subject. You think people have to eat healthy food to lose weight and reduce the risk of diabetes, whereas I think they just have to reduce their intake of energy".
I did disagree - strongly, although I was less vocal than I might have been given his prestigious title. The same professor was keen to quote the line "without data, you are just someone with an opinion".
I'm delighted to say that the data is now in.
A Global Burden of Disease study was released yesterday which states that people in almost every region of the world could benefit from rebalancing their diets to eat optimal amounts of various foods and nutrients. The study, tracked trends in consumption of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries, and estimates that one in five deaths globally -- equivalent to 11 million deaths -- are associated with poor diet, and diet contributes to a range of chronic diseases in people around the world.
In 2017, more deaths were caused by diets with too low amounts of foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds than by diets with high levels of foods like trans fats, sugary drinks, and high levels of red and processed meats.
"This study affirms what many have thought for several years -- that poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world," says study author Dr Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, USA. "While sodium, sugar, and fat have been the focus of policy debates over the past two decades, our assessment suggests the leading dietary risk factors are high intake of sodium, or low intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and vegetables.
Take that professor he-who-shall-not-be- named. If we keep eating packaged food reformulated to suit whatever dietary bandwagon we're on there will be no difference whatsoever to the health of the people in the world and people will continue to die from diseases which are perfectly preventable. .
Let's stop talking about what not to eat and instead talk about what to eat.
Let's all agree that all packaged/convenience/packaged food reformulated or not is best avoided and eat whole food - real food.
Eat lots of vegetables, less amounts of fruit, quality wholegrains, nuts, seeds and beans, quality proteins and fats and learn how to cook again because if we don't teach people how to do that, nothing is ever going to change.
The Lancet. "Globally, one in five deaths are associated with poor diet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 April 2019. .
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