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Editorial: Diet matters

Fad diets inundate the market and people succumb to the lure of a slimmer silhouette by ingesting miracle pills, drinks and even fasting. Many hit the gym to achieve the body they want but somehow, cannot sustain the discipline. More and more Filipinos are having trouble maintaining a good weight especially in highly urbanized areas. But we are not alone in this dilemma.The world has a problem with food and it inevitably refers to countries that are poor and those that have more resources. The United Nations estimates that nearly a billion people worldwide are malnourished, while nearly two billion are “overnourished.’ This falls neatly into the narrative of conspicuous consumption. A new study on global diet trends published in the medical journal, The Lancet, showed that in nearly every one of the 195 countries surveyed, people were eating too much of the wrong types of food — and consuming low levels of healthier produce.

It showed that one in five deaths globally are linked to poor diet, and that overconsumption of sugar, salt and meat was killing millions of people every year.

The study further said that the ‘world on average consumes more than ten times the recommended amount of sugar-sweetened beverages, and 86 percent more sodium per person than is considered safe. Of the 11 million deaths attributed to poor diet, by far the largest killer was cardiovascular disease, which is often caused or worsened by obesity.’

“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,” said study author Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

The study, which tracked consumption and disease trends between 1990-2017, observed that there was low consumption of whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds to keep a healthy lifestyle. It considered as dietary risk factors the high intake of sodium or low intake of health foods.

There are no short cuts in achieving a healthy body. Following a healthy diet means choosing the right food and lifestyle.

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