Overeating Taking Bigger Toll Than Food Shortages
Non-infectious diseases now more of a threat than infectious ones: report
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 14, 2012 11:48 AM CST
Overeating is, on a global scale, a bigger threat than undernutrition, a study finds.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It's a worldwide first: Today, eating too much is more of a health threat than food shortages. On a global scale, overeating costs more years of healthy life than does undernutrition, according to a massive new study. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 report compares illnesses and causes of death in 1990 with those in 2010, and it's "the most comprehensive assessment of human health in the history of medicine," says the editor of the journal publishing the study.

The report "provides insights into human health that are comparable in scope and depth to the sequencing of the human genome," he adds. Stroke and heart disease, which can result from overeating, together cause a quarter of deaths worldwide. Undernutrition was the top cause of disease burden in 1990; it's now eighth, while excessive BMI has moved from 10th to sixth. In other findings, we're generally living longer, and research into infections and other health threats has cut deaths in children under five by 60%. While infectious disease remains high in sub-Saharan Africa, non-infectious diseases—like those stemming from being overweight—are now more of a threat. And overall, humankind is suffering more years of unhealthiness and disability, New Scientist notes.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Dec 17, 2012 8:28 PM CST
Recently my husband suddenly and unexpectedly had a fatal heart attack, aged 50. Coroner's report - ischemic heart disease, one artery 100% blocked, another 85% blocked.He loved his food, and years of overindulgence of pizzas, burgers, chocolates, soft drinks, cheese, ribs, fries etc etc had killed him! Oh how I miss you babe, you were the love of my life, and now you are gone. We shared everything together. Except I always chose the healthy smaller portions and you always chose the largest meal on the menu, and never considered what it might be doing to your arteries. For years I begged you to lose weight, get active, and tried to influence your eating habits, not because I minded you being overweight, I loved you for you, but because I knew I couldn't bear to live without you. Please go to this site www.measureup.gov.au NOW, and if your waist measurement is more than recommended - then PLEASE think of your family and friends and do something about it! It's quite simple really - calories in, calories out... it's nothing to do with when you eat, whether it is organic or processed, or whether it is fresh, canned or frozen... Cut down on fats and sugars, there are some amazing apps and websites to help you keep track of your calories, and once you start counting calories you will be amazed how healthy you become!If you are 30 pounds overweight, you need to lose the equivalent of 5 bricks... can you imagine having 5 bricks strapped to your body and having to carry them around all day???And the fat on your belly is an indication of the fat that surrounds your organs making it harder for them to function properly, and clogs your arteries causing your heart to work harder and starving your body of oxygen. PLEASE THINK OF YOUR LOVED ONES!!!
Dec 16, 2012 7:50 AM CST
Double size mine please!
Dec 15, 2012 5:41 AM CST
I find it somewhat misleading that they used a picture of what appears to be a burger made from fresh ingredients and hand-pattied ground beef, which is the way people SHOULD eat (non-effortless food preparation). No telling if there's "pink-slime" in this ground beef or if it's organic, but I think if they wanted to get their point across, they'd show a picture with a plate overloaded with food or greasy McDonald's or Burger King. Not necessarily taking anything away from the article itself, it just seems like a misrepresentation of the visual compared to the written.