Israel has the lowest dietary death rate in the world, revealed a major analysis of food data from around the world.
The analysis, which is part of the Global Burden of Disease study, was published Wednesday in the reputable medical journal The Lancet.
In Israel, 89 out of every 100,000 people die each year from deaths linked to poor quality food.
According to the researchers, this is different from obesity, because it is not deaths due to excessive diets, but nutritional imbalances in the diet: too much salt or too little fruit, vegetables and vegetables. whole grains.
Alongside Israel in the category of the healthiest diets are France, Italy and other countries of the northern Mediterranean.
The most affected countries are concentrated in Central and South-East Asia. Uzbekistan had the highest rate of dietary mortality: 892 per year, 100 times more than Israel.
A BBC report on the study found that nearly 10 million of the 11 million deaths attributed each year to the diet were due to cardiovascular disease or diseases caused by narrowing or blockage of blood vessels, often in or close to heart .
These diseases are strongly influenced by the presence of high amounts of salt in the diet, which can cause peaks in high blood pressure and directly affect the functioning of the heart.
The last million deaths are due to cancers and type 2 diabetes linked to a diet.
According to the Lancet article, diet is now a more important cause of death in the world than smoking, and salt is the main cause of dietary mortality.
The study also highlighted the key elements of a healthy diet that not only prevents these deaths, but can also actively protect consumers' bodies from the measured diseases: nuts, seeds, seafood, fiber, fruit and vegetables. vegetables.
The absence of these foods is a more significant predictor of diet-related illnesses and deaths than the overconsumption of sugar and red meat, which is the focus of attention. food.
"The quality of food is important, no matter what your weight," Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Metrics and Health Assessment at the BBC, told BBC. University of Washington.
"The most important story people are working on is increasing your intake of whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables and reducing salt if you can."
The report noted that in some of the poorest countries, the elements of a healthy diet are too expensive for a large number of people, and called for policy changes to improve access. He also advocated for changes in the food supply chain in the West to ensure that better foods are available at lower cost to a greater number of the population.