A new study shows that the American diet is our biggest risk factor for disease, disability, and death. The report, published by JAMA, July 10, 2013, again shows that the American lifestyle is making us fat and sick resulting in healthcare costs that are bankrupting the nation. It is the behavior, the choices Americans make that is the leading cause of disease, disability and death. We can change this. For optimal health and longevity, we want a plant based diet (starch based) high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich whole grains.
American Diet: Our Biggest Risk Factor For Disease, Disability, and Death
Pritikin: In the U.S., our biggest risk factor for disease, disability, and death is our diet. What we eat is more dangerous to our health than anything else. (See this graph.)
Our second, third, and four biggest enemies are tobacco smoking, high body mass index (excess weight), and high blood pressure.
We are living a little longer in 2010 compared to 1990, but we are “not necessarily in good health,” wrote lead author Christopher Murray, MD, of the University of Washington, who worked with a team of more than 120 scientists from leading research universities nationwide. The number of healthy years that an individual in America loses to disability increased from 9.4 years to 10.1 years. “Morbidity and chronic disability now account for nearly half of the health burden in the United States.”
Diseases and injuries with the largest number of years of life lost due to early death are ischemic heart disease (clogged arteries), lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and road injuries.
In many counties in the United States, life expectancy showed no improvement over the past two decades, particularly for women. In parts of the rural South and Appalachia, life expectancies are lower than Bangladesh for males and Algeria for females.
America is not keeping pace with other wealthy nations. “The United States spends the most per capita on health care across all countries, lacks universal health coverage, and lags behind other high-income countries for life expectancy and many other health outcome measures,” summarized the report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Population Health Metrics.
Among 34 countries worldwide that were studied, the United States ranks 27th in life expectancy.
The researchers analyzed 14 key components of the American diet and their relation to disease, disability, and death. They found that the most damaging dietary risks in the U.S. are diets that are:
- Low in fruits
- Low in nuts and seeds
- High in sodium
- High in processed meats
- Low in vegetables
- High in trans fats (Trans fats occur naturally in beef and full-fat dairy foods. They also come from the industrial processing of vegetable oils into solid fats. These manufactured trans fats are often in products like fried and snack foods, margarines, pie crusts, and store-bought bakery goods. If the Ingredient List says “partially hydrogenated,” the product has trans fats.)
Other damaging dietary factors, ranked in order of importance, are diets that are:
- Low in omega-3 fatty acids (Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish.)
- Low in whole grains
- Low in fiber
- High in sugar-sweetened beverages
- Low in polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in liquid vegetable oils such as soybean oil, corn oil, and safflower oil)
It doesn’t have to be this way. Obesity and it’s resulting diseases is a choice that can be changed. We have a healthcare crisis here in the U.S. that is economically unsustainable. We must have healthcare reform. Continuing our current behavior is destroying our health and our nation. Healthcare reform begins with each of us taking responsibility for our own health care and choosing to to eat foods that make us slender and healthy (starch based) and choosing to get off the couch and be more active. It’s time that we each become wellness warriors and only feed ourselves and our families plant based food.
If you are ready to become a wellness warrior and reform your health care, call or email me. Hypnosis for weight loss can change your life and your health.
Check out Seattle weight loss hypnosis and Bainbridge Island weight loss hypnosis. Call (206) 903-1232 or email for your free consultation.
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