In good news for salad-loving Israelis, a recent study found that Israel has the lowest diet-related death rate in the world, leading the way over other Mediterranean-style diet countries such as Italy and Spain and ranking far above Western countries like the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Global Burden of Disease Study recently published in The Lancet collected geographically representative dietary data in adults over the age of 25 in 195 countries. It then estimated the effects of dietary factors on non-communicable diseases mortality and the overall impact of poor dietary practices.
The study shows that 11 million deaths and 255 million disability-adjusted life years could be attributed to dietary risk factors in 2017. The biggest dietary offenders were high sodium intake (3 million deaths), low whole-grains intake (3 million deaths) and low fruit intake (2 million deaths).
In Israel, there were 88.9 deaths per 100,000 people due to dietary-related causes in 2017, down from 254.9 deaths in 1990. In the US, there were 170.7 deaths per 100,000 people (down from 304.2 in 1990), while in the UK numbers stood at 127.4 deaths per 100,000 people (down from 344.8 in 1990). Closing the list was Uzbekistan, where there were 891.8 deaths per 100,000 in 2017, up from 609.3 in 1990.
The study found that not only was consumption of healthy food and nutrients suboptimal across the world, but that intake of unhealthy items such as processed meat, sodium and sugary drinks exceeded recommended levels.
It also noted the prohibitive costs of the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables per person per household, which in low-income countries stood at 52 percent of household income, leading to the conclusion that there’s room for policy intervention across national and international food systems.
Click the video below to see how to prepare a classic Israeli salad.