Friday April 19, 2019

Poor Diet: Root Cause Of Millions Of Deaths in India

"Poor diet is an equal opportunity killer. We are what we eat and risks affect people across a range of demographics, including age, gender, and economic status," said lead author Ashkan Afshin, Assistant Professor at the varsity. 

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The causes of these deaths included 10 million deaths from cardiovascular disease, 913,000 cancer-related deaths, and almost 339,000 deaths from Type-2 diabetes.  Pixabay

A poor diet, particularly the low intake of whole grains and fruits, accounts for hundreds of deaths in India annually, say researchers.

The study, reported in the Lancet journal, analysed data from 195 countries and found that one in five deaths globally — equivalent to 11 million deaths — are associated with lack of optimal amount of food and nutrients.

Low intake of whole grains — below 125 grams per day — was the leading dietary risk factor for death and disease in India, the US, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia, Egypt, Germany, Iran, and Turkey.

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The findings highlight the urgent need for coordinated global efforts to improve diet through collaboration with various sections of the food system and policies that drive balanced diets. Pixabay

In Bangladesh, low intake of fruits — below 250 grams per day — was the leading dietary risk.

In 2017, the countries with the lowest rates of diet-related deaths were Israel, France, Spain, Japan and Andorra. India ranked 118th with 310 deaths per 100,000 people.

The findings highlight the urgent need for coordinated global efforts to improve diet through collaboration with various sections of the food system and policies that drive balanced diets.

“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 Christopher Murray, Director at the University of Washington in the US.

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A poor diet, particularly the low intake of whole grains and fruits, accounts for hundreds of deaths in India annually, say researchers.
Pixabay

“Poor diet is an equal opportunity killer. We are what we eat and risks affect people across a range of demographics, including age, gender, and economic status,” said lead author Ashkan Afshin, Assistant Professor at the varsity.

While a poor diet caused an estimated 11 million deaths, diets high in sodium, low in whole grains, and low in fruit together accounted for over five million of all diet-related deaths globally in 2017.

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The causes of these deaths included 10 million deaths from cardiovascular disease, 913,000 cancer-related deaths, and almost 339,000 deaths from Type-2 diabetes.

Deaths related to diet have increased from eight million in 1990, largely due to increases in the population and population ageing, the report said. (IANS)

Next Story

New York City’s Mandatory Measles Vaccination Order Stands Still

The health department's lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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Materials are seen left at demonstration by people opposed to childhood vaccination after officials in Rockland County, a New York City suburb, banned children not vaccinated against measles from public spaces. VOA

Brooklyn judge on Thursday ruled against a group of parents who challenged New York City’s recently imposed mandatory measles vaccination order, rejecting their arguments that the city’s public health authority exceeded its authority.

In a six-page decision rendered hours after a hearing on the matter, Judge Lawrence Knipel denied the parents’ petition seeking to lift the vaccination order, imposed last week to stem the worst measles outbreak to hit the city since 1991.

The judge sided with municipal health officials who defended the order as a rare but necessary step to contain a surge in the highly contagious disease that has infected at least 329 people so far, most of them children from Orthodox Jewish communities in the borough of Brooklyn.

Another 222 cases have been diagnosed elsewhere in New York state, mostly in a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Rockland County, northwest of Manhattan.

The New York outbreaks are part of a larger resurgence of measles across the country, with at least 555 cases confirmed in 20 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health experts say the virus, which can cause severe complications and even death, has spread mostly among school-age children whose parents declined to get them vaccinated. Most profess philosophical or religious reasons, or cite concerns — debunked by medical science — that the three-way measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism.

The judge rejected the parents’ contention that the vaccination order was excessive or coercive, noting it does not call for forcibly administering the vaccine to those who refuse it.

He also dismissed assertions in the petition disputing the “clear and present danger” of the outbreak. “Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion,” the judge said.

FILE PHOTO: A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019.
A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019. VOA

Secret identities

The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine.

The court challenge was brought in Brooklyn’s Supreme Court by five people identified only as parents living in the affected neighborhoods. Their identities were kept confidential to protect their children’s’ privacy, their lawyers said.

In court on Thursday, they told Knipel the city had overstepped its authority and that quarantining the infected would be a preferable approach.

Robert Krakow, an attorney for the parents, estimated that just 0.0006 percent of the population of Brooklyn and Queens had measles. “That’s not an epidemic,” he said. “It’s not Ebola. It’s not smallpox.”

The health department’s lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine. Pixabay

The judge cited 39 cases diagnosed in Michigan that have been traced to an individual traveling from the Williamsburg community at the epicenter of Brooklyn’s outbreak.

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The surge in measles there originated with an unvaccinated child who became infected on a visit to Israel, where the highly contagious virus is also running rampant.

The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first quarter of 2019 to 112,163 compared with the same period last year, the World Health Organization said this week. (VOA)