Is Food Making You Sick? Major Health Issues Influenced by Diet

Exploring some of the life-threatening health issues affected by the way you eat.

We all know that eating well makes us feel better – but what effect can our diet have in contributing to major health issues?

 

Two-thirds of US adults, and one third of children, are overweight or obese. There is evidence that many major, life-threatening health issues are caused by overindulgence in food.

 

Which life-threatening health issues can be caused by food and diet?

 

So many major health problems have causal links to obesity, including the four leading causes of preventable death in the US, according to the CDC2’:

  • Heart Disease: This is the leading cause of death3 amongst Adults in the US, with about 610,000 people dying from it each year. Various4 studies5 show that being obese puts you at a much higher risk of heart failure.
  • Cancer: Obesity has also been6 shown7 to increase the risk for certain types of cancer, particularly Esophagus, Pancreas, and Endometrium. In fact, some estimates8 put the percent of cancer cases in the US attributed to obesity as high as 40%.
  • Stroke: Risk of stroke is also shown to be greatly increased with obesity. Around9 34% of stroke victims are under 65 and evidence10 has shown that obesity increases the risk of this early onset stroke.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: This is perhaps the most clearly evidenced preventable disease linked to obesity. There is a demonstrable close causal link11 between obesity and type 2 diabetes, and Studies show12 that losing 5-7 % of body weight can delay or even stop the onset of the disease in pre-diabetic patients.

So, these health issues are all related to obesity. But how is that related to the way you eat?

 

It is well known13 that food choices and exercise levels are a clear contributor to obesity levels: consume more calories than you expend and you will gain weight – potentially leading to these health complications down the line.

 

The conversation about obesity and health issues, though, must also look at the evidence that being obese doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have poor health. According to Dr. Linda Bacon14, an advocate for the Health at Every Size movement, “people who are mildly or moderately ‘obese’ live at least as long as normal-weight people”.

 

Weight-loss focused diets then, may not be the solution15, and instead, a focus on healthy lifestyle factors would better help to lower the risk of health issues caused by diet. The type16 of calories consumed makes a difference to overall health and obesity factors: the quality and nutritional makeup of your food can contribute17 to chronic disease prevention. The focus needs to be on dietary patterns18, taking your individual lifestyle and preferences into the mix. Becoming more healthy, and lowering your risk of major health issues in the process, needs to work for you, for your life and for your body.

 

Eat Better, Not Less.

 

In other words, consuming 1,400 calories of fries, cheeseburgers or pop-tarts will not19 leave you in the same healthy, state as consuming 1,400 calories of fruit, vegetables, good fats and whole grains. You need a balanced diet to reduce the risk of major health issues caused by being overweight. Take a look around CookingYourself.com to get some heathy, nutritious, and must of all delicious recipes, to help lower your risk of these major health issues.

 

 

 

References:

1.       https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx
2.      https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
  1. http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
  2. http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=2492935
  3. http://journals.lww.com/jhypertension/Abstract/2016/09000/Joint_statement_of_the_European_Association_for.3.aspx
  4. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-19821-7_16
  5. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4939-3220-7_8
  6. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/obesity-fact-sheet#q3
  7. http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm
  8. http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/05/05/STROKEAHA.115.008940.abstract
  9. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-19821-7_9
  10. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/ndep/am-i-at-risk/Pages/index.aspx
  11. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2015/805065/abs/
  12. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jen-picicci/can-you-be-healthy-at-eve_b_7905358.html
  13. http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301486?journalCode=ajph
  14. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/diet-and-weight/
  15. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212267212019934
  16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4744652/

 

  1. http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031811-124646