Back in the 1980s and 1990s, malnutrition was a global concern, as children in the undeveloped areas of Africa suffered from lack of food. Through the years this has been continuously addressed, and by 2010, deaths due to starvation were down by twothirds.

The Telegraph reports that although this seems to be good news, the other side of the coin reveals a new kind of malnutrition that plagues even the most developed countries--eating too much of the wrong kinds of food. This problem is heightened by the fact that people get less and less of the daily exercise that they need to stay fit.

According to a study led by Dr. Majid Ezzati, chair of global environmental health at Imperial College London, and Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in the US, human life expectancy has increased in the past years due to the advancements in medicine and technology. Unfortunately, lives are oftentimes cut short due to conditions brought about by the wrong kind of diet and obesity.

Using statistics, researchers have managed to isolate the risks and causes of untimely deaths. From being in the 10th slot in 1990, obesity as a risk factor rose to the sixth. It accounts for more than three million deaths annually, which is a whopping 82 percent increase from previous years.

High blood pressure, which is oftentimes linked to cholesterol and high body mass indexes (BMI), jumped from the fourth slot to the first, causing nine million deaths yearly.

As much as eating a well-balanced diet can contribute to fighting obesity, exercise also plays a big role by burning calories and managing metabolism. In the end, the key is to live a healthy lifestyle and not to indulge in excesses. Being in control of your diet and couch potato urges will not only help you become a better person; it can also save your life.

(Photo by Laura Lewis via Flickr Creative Commons)

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