By Lauren Otto, Greenfield Natural Kitchen Social Media Intern
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the death rate from heart disease is on the rise, and researchers say that it is largely due to the rising obesity rates. Studies show that one of the first and most important preventative measures against heart disease is a healthy diet.
In 2015, the heart disease death rate rose 0.9 percent according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. This was the first increase after four decades of declining death rates due to heart disease, which continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States.
Stephen Sidney, a senior research scientist with the Kaiser Permanent Northern California division of research, said that these findings mark a significant step backward in the general health of Americans.
“It’s a definite milestone in the wrong direction, and the concern that a lot of us have is that it reflects largely the approximately three-decade-long epidemic of obesity,” Sidney told the Wall Street Journal.
Obesity rates in the United States have been increasing since the 1980s. The CDC reports that 38.2 percent of 20-74 year olds and 20.6 percent of 12-19 year olds are obese, which is drastically higher that the 14.5 percent of 20-74 year olds and 6.1 percent of 12-19 year olds who were obese in the early 1970s.
Obesity can cause a variety of health problems, including hypertension, diabetes, and other heart-related problems that increase risk of heart disease.
In the midst of the widespread effects of obesity and diabetes, there is work being done to prevent these health- threatening issues. According to the Wall Street Journal, diabetes prevention programs based on research studies prevented more than half of high risk patients from developing diabetes through appropriate weight loss, exercise and a healthy diet.
According to Dr. Sydney, one of the first preventative measures to be taken when it comes to obesity and heart disease is prioritizing a healthy diet.
Though there is a fairly common belief that low fat and high carb diets are healthy, there is a strong correlation between diets that are high in sugar and starches and the rising obesity and death rates due to heart disease.
At Greenfield, we believe in making it easier for people to eat truly healthy foods—including foods that are healthy for our customers’ hearts. At times like these when ways to pursue healthy food are more necessary than ever, Greenfield makes these options available. We focus on minimizing sugar and starch contents and serving clean food that is truly nutritious and heart-healthy. By prioritizing serving food that is good for people’s health, we hope to contribute to making healthy eating a norm that ultimately lowers risk of heart disease—one meal at a time.