In Nutrition

July 10, 2013

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Researchers of a study that looked at U.S. health over 20 years were surprised to find diet played a dominant role in burden-of-disease risk, surpassing tobacco use. Andréa Maria Cecil reports.

Americans are dying younger and living their later years with more diseases than citizens of poorer countries that spend far less than the U.S. on health care, according to a new study.

The most surprising finding, the researchers said, was that the No. 1 risk factor contributing to the burden of disease is the simplest of things: diet.

“That was very powerful for us—something we did not expect,”Ali Mokdad told the CrossFit Journal. He was one of 500 scientists from around the world who worked on the study titled The State of US Health, 1990-2010: Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors. The Journal of the American Medical Association published the study today

Scientists were expecting tobacco and high blood pressure to continue to be the usual suspects, Mokdad said. Instead, tobacco ranked second, followed by obesity, high blood pressure, high fasting plasma glucose level and physical inactivity or low activity.

“What we eat, what we put in our mouth is the major cause of morbidity and mortality,” Mokdad said. “It makes sense. For us to be able to document it and to go back in (the) past and show how this has been changing over the past two decades is very powerful.”

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4 Comments on “Poor Diet Sinks U.S. in Health Rankings”


wrote …

"Importance Understanding the major health problems in the United States and how they are changing over time is critical for informing national health policy."
Really? National health policy is what is going to unfrock the last forty years of disastrous health policy? Not likely.

Are they going to let insurance companies deny health coverage to folks booze too hard or become addicted in other ways? Are they going to drop people with metabolic syndrome, sarcopenia and the other lifestyle diseases from the health care dole?

No, it sounds like they are going to continue to recommend that we all eat 100 pieces of fruit every 3 minutes, cause god knows that will cure anyone.

i don't know that we needed another expensive epidemiological study that tells us what we already know - folks are killing themselves with lifestyle choices that have been aided and abetted by USDA food pseudo science and a medical industry that makes money for keeping sick people alive.

I don't think the medical industry or the government is any closer to figuring out how to make our population kill itself with less vehemence.

CrossFit however is doing just that and we should be proud of it, and make it a centerpiece of each box. CrossFIt teaches those willing to learn how to eat for health, and how to maintain an active, thriving life. The best thing that could possibly come from this supposedly so important study is it may steer a few more folks to CrossFit boxes.


wrote …

So the same government that tells me Aspartame, Ritalin, and Twinkies are okay for my children eat but raw milk is dangerous ... this same government is going to look out for my health? The government is only interested in protecting their customers (big pharma, factory farms, etc).

The problem is the federal government but the political class produce propaganda pointing the finger at free markets.

I honestly believe if the government was out of the food business you'd see a rise in local farmers markets and local foods. Governments make it hard for the little guy to survive.


Pierre Litobox wrote …

It's beginning to be a serious problem as well in France ... A 2012 study from ObÉpi-Roche shows that 47.3% of french people are overweight or obese with a BMI over 25.


wrote …

"Americans are dying younger and living their later years with more diseases than citizens of poorer countries"
Wow, such a paradox ! But it's not really astonishing when we see what Americans pu in their mouth ^^

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