Poor diet deadlier force compared with smoking

Grant Scarboro, Reporter

On April 3, 2019, a study conducted in 195 countries was published in the journal Lancet, it was revealed that approximately 11 million people die across the globe as a result of a poor diet, more so than even that of smoking. According to Tal Axelrod of The Hill, “The study attributed 3 million deaths to diets containing too much sodium, another 3 million to a lack of whole grains and 2 million more to inadequate amounts of fruit.” “…a lot of major noncommunicable diseases are because of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and those sort of things.” health teacher Jacque Williams told Cry of the Hawk.

     Some of the culprits, according to Talha Choudhry of International Business Times were, “sugar-sweetened beverages, soda, red meat, and process meat…” By comparison, the report’s lead author, Ashkan Afshin, explained to the Washington Post how Mediterranean diets with large amounts of healthy fats and fibers resulted in the longest lifespans. Israel is currently number one, while the U.S. ranks at 43 on the model created by the researchers.

    The report also highlights, “…the need for a comprehensive food system intervention to promote the production, distribution, and consumption of these foods across nations…” Student Laura Krug said that, “…people should watch what they eat and be more conscious of their health habits to decrease that risk.”

     However, some aren’t too sure about this strategy. Kyle Kulinski of the YouTube radio show, Secular Talk, disagrees with the idea of a top-down method, saying that while he agrees with the results of the study, he also sees it as too authoritarian. “I always want the option to have a burger and fries or whatever or to have whatever I want that’s not good for me…” he explained on a YouTube video where he discussed the study.

    Kulinski also brought up the example of how there was a massive backlash to efforts made by Michelle Obama to promote healthy eating in schools during her time as First Lady.

    However, there were some alternative methods mentioned by the radio show host. These include increasing education efforts and how there should be a “massive cultural shift”.

      In his video on the study Kulinski pointed out how Americans have very sedentary lifestyle compared to many other nations, along with being “high on fast food” as a result of its easy accessibility in the United States. Kulinski might be favor of minor government actions on this topic, though, such as preventing the use of certain pesticides on fruits, and increasing education efforts on the issue.