Claim: Lack of fruits & vegetables causes millions of years of life to be lost

A BS claim.

The media release is below.

There is no study available. And the American Heart Association did not even want journalists to publish the abstract.

Why is this a BS claim? There was no actual scientific study of the effects of fruits and vegetables on longevity. The abstract reveals it’s just an exercise in statistical malpractice based on unverified assumptions about the health effects fruit/vegetable consumption. Fruit and vegetable consumption are possibly an indicator of wealth, which is definitely linked with longevity.

Fruits and vegetables are great and can have nutritional value, depending on what you eat and how you eat it. But the notion that the public health will improve if people just generally consume more fruits and vegetable without regard to need is without scientific basis.


Lack of fruits and vegetables increases global heart disease burden
Tuesday News Tip Presentation Poster P116


PORTLAND, Oregon, March 7, 2017– Globally, increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables could save millions of years lost to disability and premature death from heart disease, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions.

Researchers used nutritional surveys and consumer expenditure surveys as well as data from previous studies on the impact of low fruit and vegetable consumption on the risk of heart disease to calculate the number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) – healthy years lost to heart-disease-related disability or death – for 195 countries. Overall, they found that, in 2015:

Low intake of fruits accounted for 57.3 million DALYs;
Low intake of vegetables accounted for 44.6 million DALYs;
The burden of heart disease attributed to limited fruit intake was lowest in Rwanda (5.1percent) and highest in Bangladesh (23.2 percent);
The burden of heart disease attributed to limited vegetable intake was lowest in North Korea (5.9 percent) and highest in Mongolia (19.4percent).
Countries with the highest level of socio-economic development had the lowest burden of heart disease attributed to low fruit and vegetable consumption.
The researchers conclude that population-based interventions to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables could lead to millions more years of healthy life worldwide.


Patrick J. Sur, M.P.H. Candidate, University of Washington, Seattle Washington.

9 thoughts on “Claim: Lack of fruits & vegetables causes millions of years of life to be lost”

  1. How very true!
    I also have great difficulty in trying to get the message across, that but for CO2 and photosynthesis, none of us would be here – simple enough but trying to convince the water melons is a difficult task

  2. The same people who demand we eat fruits and vegetables:

    1. want to block CO2 which is necessary to grow fruits and vegetables; and
    2. forced thousands of acres of plant foods to be used for biodiesel – a much closer correlation with people starving than any of the made up studies they write.

  3. The human race survived on a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables, with occasional hunted or found meats, for most of its history. Unfortunately this was a *subsistence* diet, barely able to maintain reproductive populations in settled areas. Human population growth did not take off until cultivated grains (wheat,rice, maize) were added to the human diet a few thousand years ago. This allowed raising of vegetarians as food (animal husbandry) and freed up time to develop advanced skills, urbanization, written communication, and so many other developments that raised Homo sapiens above the level of grazer/browser/scavenger/hunter.

  4. I believe eating fruit and veggies is healthy. But to claim not eating a specific amount is harmfull is pure bs

  5. ‘Low intake of fruits accounted for 57.3 million DALYs’

    Their use of a decimal point shows they have a sense of humor.

  6. ‘depending on what you eat and how you eat it’

    Indeed. Cooking adds considerable nutrition.

  7. I suppose if you can’t push faulty science about dairy and fats or salt you have to use something to frighten the population.

  8. The subject of eating your greens is a puzzle to me – we were made to eat all that was put in front of us and some of that was diabolical things like cabbage and brussel sprouts (both of which I now love as an adult) but one of our children just could not be encouraged to eat fruit or veg and even today will only eat a small portion of broccoli and no other veg or fruit and yet she is a well built highly intelligent being with few if any health problems – must be getting what she needs from things other than those generally recommended.

  9. Remember the old days when people used to worry the world was coming to an end because of overpopulation?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.