An interesting article has appeared in PM Live, based on several articles recently published in The Lancet.
These articles reveal that advancements in treating infections and tackling malnutrition have seen chronic diseases and disability become the biggest global healthcare burdens.
The ‘Global Burden of Disease Study 2010’, is a collaborative project led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, described the “devastating irony” that people were now living longer but becoming sicker in its analysis of healthcare trends from 1990 to 2010.
The rise of unhealthy eating was one of the main drivers of this reshaping of the healthcare landscape, with people more likely to “suffer from eating too much food rather than too little”, according to the study.
This poor diet, along with physical inactivity, has led to rising rates of obesity and related conditions, such as high blood pressure, which is the biggest risk factor for death today.
Other lifestyle-related health issues, such as tobacco smoking and alcohol abuse, have also increased their share of the global disease burden over the past 20 years, becoming the second and third biggest risk factors in health today.