Per the Global Burden of Disease Study, which examines data from 195 countries, dietary factors are the single leading cause of death and contribute to higher mortality rates than smoking. Worldwide, obesity affects hundreds of millions of people, and the rates have tripled since 1975, according to data from the World Health Organization.
Many factors contribute to the rising prevalence of obesity, including physical inactivity, poor dietary choices, and high processed food consumption all of which are major risk factors for many leading causes of death and disability in the United States, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and certain cancers.
A nutrient-dense, healthy diet plays a significant role in the maintenance of overall health and physical wellbeing; it is vital to managing many common chronic diseases as well. Underscoring the importance of weight management, especially in high-risk patients, experts point out the evident gaps in education that challenge many physicians today.