The United Nations says your bad diet could be killing you

A new report says it's responsible for one in five deaths nationwide.

Fred Bodimer
April 10, 2019 - 5:36 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — A new United Nations study finds that poor diet is linked to one in five deaths nationwide. 

This U.N. study suggests people are eating themselves to death -- consuming way too much sugar, salt and meat. 

"I think as a nation, our rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease will prove that," said Family Medicine physician Dr. Jennifer Wessels, the VP of Medical Affairs at SSM Health Medical Group.

"I think we've known for decades that a poor diet sets you up for incredible amounts of health conditions," Dr. Wessels tells KMOX.  "We see that even in our young kids now drinking more sodas, more sugar and processed foods.  We're seeing chronic illnesses in younger and younger folks.  We're seeing a higher severity of disease."

Obesity rates have skyrocketed, especially in the last decade, said Dr. Wessels. "We know that all the processed foods, the salt and the sugar, it all raises your blood pressure.  It raises your blood sugar.  It really puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, cancers and especially for diabetes."

So what makes up a good diet?

"Focusing on fruits and vegetables and lean proteins is really going to be the healthiest and safest diet," said Dr. Wessels. "Anything in moderation.  If you do have sugar and salt and processed foods, limiting that as much as you can is going to be your best bet for a healthy and safe diet."

The U.N. study surveyed 195 countries between 1900 and 2017.  It estimates that a billion people are malnourished worldwide.  And two billion people are overnourished.