There are indications that people the world over are still indifferent to the kind of meals they consume, despite massive campaigns on adequate intake of fruits and vegetables to ward off diseases and premature death.
According to a major global study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, it was found that one in five deaths is traceable to the two extremes of malnutrition among poor people and unhealthy eating among rich.
The report published on Daily Mail Online, formed part of the Global Burden of Disease report, the most in-depth study of global mortality rates ever conducted, revealed that the biggest challenge is the lack of whole grains, fruit, and vegetables in diets.
The researchers still identified the unhealthy habit of heavy salt and fat consumption in foods.”The biggest driving factor is that millions of people are eating a diet which consists of too much salt and saturated fat, and not enough fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, omega 3, and whole grains, the authors warn”.
The studies, drawing from the input of 2,500 experts, also showed that one in seven people – 1.1 billion – are ‘living with mental health and substance use disorders’. Major depression ranked among the top ten causes of ill health in all but four of the 195 countries and territories covered.
It noted that mental health services are chronically underfunded in most nations, especially in the developing world.
The study puts the global population afflicted with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease at 2.6 million worldwide in 2016, and more than 40 percent surge from only a decade earlier.
“Alcohol and drug use accounted for some 320,000 deaths, including 86,000 for opioids. Opioid abuse – mostly pharmaceutical – in the United States has reached epidemic proportions”.
“We are facing a triad of trouble holding back many nations and communities – obesity, conflict and mental illness, including substance abuse disorders,’ said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, which centralized and analysed the millions of data points used the studies”.