Obesity has overtaken smoking in health stakes in NZ

Obesity has overtaken smoking in health stakes in NZ

“Excess body weight is becoming a bigger killer than tobacco consumption”.

“In 2013, obesity and [being] overweight is causing as much if not more health loss than tobacco”
Nick Wilson, Associate Professor, University of Otago.

The 2013 Burden of Disease study, as released by the Ministry of Health and University of Otago researchers on August 8, 2013, is a culmination of “many years of study into disability, disease and premature death” and tells us about what is making us sick and causing early and preventable death to New Zealanders.

The report states very clearly the exact same thing I have been warning about for years.  That following the Standard American Diet (SAD) as we do, will mean we follow the same sick road that Americans have walked before us.  The warnings about this just a few years ago were that this would happen in 2025.  Now they are saying it will happen in just three short years – in 2016, BUT THEY SUSPECT THAT IT MAY HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED.

The Ministry of Health’s 2013 Burden of Disease study by University of Otago says:

  • Obesity and excess body weight will overtake smoking as the major cause of declining health and death by 2016
  • It may have done so already
  • Smoking currently kills around 10% of us
  • “A combination of dietary risk factors, including high salt intake, high saturated fat intake, low vegetable and fruit intake, and excess energy intake, already account for a higher health loss than tobacco at 11.4%”
  • “Improving the nutritional environment for New Zealanders should therefore be a high priority for the Government”
  • Cancers contributed 17.5% of the health loss
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and stroke) contributed 17.5% of the health loss
  • Alcohol is likely to be involved in a quarter of all injury-related health loss

As reported by Fairfax, APNZ, stuff.co.nz and The New Zealand Herald on August 8, 2013.

Posted: Sunday 11 August 2013