Abstract. Healthy human diets and daily physical activity are key factors for a long and healthy life. Unbalanced consumption of foods high in energy (salt, sugar, starch and/or animal fat) and low in essential nutrients and vitamins (fruit, vegetables, pulses, whole meal cereals, vegetable oils, etc) contributes to energy excess, overweight and obesity. Numerous epidemiological and clinical studies on bad dietary habits found a strong association with a substantial proportion of morbidity and mortality from heart diseases, stroke, various types of cancer and type 2 diabetes (T2D). From the 1990s the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) recommended eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts. Also, the Mediterranean Diet (MDet) was ranked number One in Best Diets Overall among 41 diets that were evaluated by a panel of health experts. Studies proved that Mdet offers many health benefits. For a long time scientists used health surveys to estimate human mortality caused by various modifiable dietary risk factors, lifestyle habits (smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol) and metabolic risk factors (sugar level in blood, blood pressure, obesity, etc). The latest study (2017) estimated the “Health Effects of Dietary Risks in 195 Countries, 1990-2017: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017” by using a comparative risk assessment approach. The highlights of the study were: a. 11 million of deaths and 255 million of DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Years) were attributable to dietary risk factors, b. High consumtpion of salty foods, or high intake of salt, approx, 3 million deaths and 70 million DALYs (responsible for high blood pressure), c. Reduced consumption of whole grains [wheat, corn, rice, oats, etc or low intake of whole grains], 3 million deaths and 82 million DALYs, d. Reduced consumption of fruit, 2 million deaths and 65 million DALYs. According to reviewers these were the leading dietary risk factors for mortality and DALYs globally. This long-term statiscal study provided a comprehensive picture of the potential impact of suboptimal diet on Nonommunicable Diseases (NCD) mortality and morbidity. The study highlight the need for improving diets as a fundamental cause of premature ageing and diseases. This review explores the variety of studies in the last decade and the latest data on most important modifiable dietary factors and their risk to human health.
Modifiable Dietary Risk Factors and Human Health. A comparative assessment on disease-specific burden mortality attributable to dietary risk factors
Jun 5, 2019