BETHESDA, Md. — The war on food has lingered for years as cities across the U.S. have instituted policies against trans fats, sugary drinks, salty foods, or by simply forcing restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus. Now a new study adds even more weight to their battle by showing how a poor diet can lead to potentially fatal ailments.
The new study suggests that a healthy diet is directly linked to a longer life, as eating poorly increases one’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Researchers who led the study looked at death certificate data collected by a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers observed the circumstances of various cardiometabolic-related deaths that occurred in 2012.
Their research shows that more than 702,000 cardiometabolic deaths occurred in US adults in 2012. Out of that total, more than 506,000 represent deaths resulting from heart disease. The total also included 128,000 cases resulting from strokes, and 68,000 cases resulting from type 2 diabetes.
The authors of the research found their analysis points out some of the key flaws that are common in peoples’ diet.
“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,” the study notes.
Out of the 700,000 cardiometabolic instances measured, 9.5% of deaths were related to high sodium. In addition, 8%-8.5% of deaths were related to low amounts of nuts/seeds, high processed meats, and low omega-3 fats. Finally, 7.5% of the cases were related to lacking fruits or vegetables.
The findings were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, a peer-reviewed journal that focuses on biomedical sciences.
The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.