One of the biggest debates in the Western world is on the current diets of the general population. An increasing number of scientists and health professionals state that the nutrition intake of the people gets lower with each passing day. This is also why there is an increase in concern and related issues such as the obesity epidemic.
Previous research shows enough data to highlight the role of diet in good health. A disturbed diet means that the body will not perform its best even if the person is exercising on a regular basis. Therefore, the importance of diet is also well-known.
However, Standard American Diets still seem to be far from containing nutrition-filled fruits and vegetables. Instead, the common diets are rife with processed and sugary foods. In consonance with the data from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in ten adults actually follow the professional guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture.
This can do more harm than an individual thinks. New research, which was shown at Nutrition 2019, the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting in Baltimore, MD, concentrate on this very issue. It shows how the risk of developing heart diseases is particularly raised when the intake of enough fruits and vegetables is low.
How Was the Research Conducted and What Were the Results?
To look at the effects of low consumption of fruits and veggies on health, the researchers took present data from 2010 and combined it with new information available on death tolls based on the region and country. Approximately, data on one hundred and thirteen countries was used in the study.
In addition, the scientists also looked at other factors such as overall general health, smoking habits, socio-economic background, and sex. After analyzing, the researchers found that the regions with the lowest consumptions of fruits and vegetables were Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia.
The countries which are present in these regions also had a higher rate of death as a result of heart disease or heart attack. The group which was specifically at higher risk was young adults. Males also tend to have a higher risk than females as the latter were seen to have a higher amount of fruit in their diets comparatively.
What Can Be Done?
The results of the research were concerning for the researchers. Heart diseases and attacks have increased in recent years due to many reasons including changing diets. Consequently, heart-related conditions are also among the top seven killers of the world.
The American Society of Agriculture suggests that every individual should have at least one and a half to two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables on a daily basis to meet the nutritional requirements. Failing to follow these guidelines may have irreversible consequences.
The study present at the conference concluded that a low intake of vegetables and fruits was responsible for 200,000 cases of fatal stroke and over 800,000 cases of death due to heart disease.
The co-author of the paper, Victoria Mills, states that solving such a problem requires a collective effort by the common population.
At this time, a big change can only be brought about if enough people are willing to leave their harmful diets to improve their lifestyles and influence others to do so as well.