After smoking, a high-fat diet is the second most lethal habit.
According to a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, smoking causes 400,000 deaths a year. High-fat diet causes
300,000. Several more highly publicized social evils are comparatively small problems: alcohol (100,000 deaths), guns (35,000), auto accidents (25,000),
and drug abuse (20,000).
These statistics in no way minimize the tragedies of alcoholism, murder, or drug addiction. But they provide perspective on what's really killing us. Few
people cringe when Aunt Mary serves up large slices of banana cream pie a la mode, but from a public health perspective, she might as well be holding a
gun to your head.
Indians as well as
Americans have a bad habit of high-fat eating. But that's all it is -- a habit. Like other bad habits, it can be unlearned. Evolving your diet away from fat
takes some time and energy -- but not much. And you don't have to swear off tasty dishes or your favorite treats. In fact, once you get the hang of
low-fat eating, all you give up is obesity and risk of premature death.