People are dying. Unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are leading causes of death in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, unhealthy eating and inactivity cause 310,000-580,000 deaths every year. This number is close to the number of deaths caused by tobacco and 13 times more than are caused by guns!
The chart below shows the astounding numbers that substantiate these claims.
Leading Contributors to Premature Death
|Diet and Physical Inactivityf||310,000-580,000|
|Unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity are leading causes of disability and loss of independence:|
Number of Americans Living with Diet- and Inactivity-Related Diseases
|High Blood Pressure9||50,000,000|
|Coronary Heart Disease9||12,600,000|
- Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and amputation.
- Most hip fractures are caused by osteoporosis. Of people over age 50 who fracture a hip, 24% die within one year and 25% require long-term care.
- Within 6 years of a recognized heart attack, 22% of men and 46% of women will be disabled with heart failure.
The CDC documented that state and federal governments spend one thousand times more to treat disease than to prevent it ($1,390 vs. $1.21 per person each year).
According to the USDA, healthier diets could prevent at least $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity, and lost lives.This is an underestimate because it accounts for only diet-related coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes and not other diet-related diseases. Obesity alone is estimated to cost $117 billion, and osteoporosis costs $14 billion in medical expenses.
This being said, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invests $0.00 in nutrition programs for the general public. They never have and yet our country’s medical expenditures are breaking our budget.
They just don’t seem to get that education and preventive medicine are the only things that will change behavior and improve the health of our nation.