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A Dutch report said on Monday that insufficient consumption of fish, fruit and vegetables is as bad for human health as smoking.
The study, which the European Food Safety Authority says it will use when analyzing food and diet risks, concludes that most cases of serious illness and death in the Netherlands is caused by poor diet.
Unhealthy dietary habits cause as much health loss as does smoking, said the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).Some 75 percent of the Netherlands' 16 million people eat fruit and vegetables below the recommended level, said the report, which is a result of an extensive research into the effects of current food trends in the country.
Each year in the Netherlands, poor diet causes about 13,000 deaths due to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, while obesity claims 7,000 lives by causing heart disease and cancer, it said.
RIVM researchers recommended that governments around the world should start encouraging a healthy diet to improve public health. In particular, attempts at reducing saturated and trans fatty acid uptake and increasing fish, fruit and vegetables consumption could save many lives.
Saturated and trans fatty acids -- which come from animal fats, tropical oils such as coconut and palm oils as wells as processed vegetable oils -- raise the levels of cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.


Hello Mick,

Thanks for the interesting report.  There is no doubt that poor diet is the major cause of most illnesses barring any genetic complications.  You body and brain are dependent are receiving certain molecules to not only function but function properly.  You need certain amounts of protein, carbohydrates, sugars, lipids (many different types of those), anitoxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber both soluble and insoluble.  Even if you get some of these molecules that is not sufficient over the long haul.  So, it is imperative that you pay attention to your diet throughout your life.  And, keep in mind that eating habits start when you are very young.  If you don't eat properly when you're young, chances are you won't when you are older.  It may take a while to correct bad eating habits when you're older.