According to a study by Harvard public health researchers, the leading preventable risk factors for premature death in the United States are:
- Smoking: 467,000 deaths.
- High blood pressure: 395,000 deaths.
- Overweight-obesity: 216,000 deaths.
- Inadequate physical activity and inactivity: 191,000 deaths.
- High blood sugar: 190,000 deaths.
- High LDL cholesterol: 113,000 deaths.
- High dietary salt: 102,000 deaths.
- Low dietary omega-3 fatty acids (seafood): 84,000 deaths.
- High dietary trans fatty acids: 82,000 deaths.
- Alcohol use: 64,000 deaths.
- Low intake of fruits and vegetables: 58,000 deaths.
- Low dietary poly-unsaturated fatty acids: 15,000 deaths.
According to the Bureau of Vital Statistics for 2006, 8 out of the 10 leading causes of death are due to diet and lifestyle choices. It’s not drugs or new cures, or expensive transplants or emergency room treatments that can save us. We need to prevent the major causes of death that we have direct control of. It will probably be too late if you are admitted to the hospital for treatment for these conditions.
Upcoming blog posts will address what easy steps you can take to decrease your risk of dying of these preventable conditions and just improve your overall quality of life. You are in control.