• Rumyana Yaneva Department of Health Economics, Faculty of Public Health "Prof. Tsekomir Vodenicharov, MD, DSc”, Medical University - Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria




unhealthy diet, behavioral risk factor, socially significant diseases, premature mortality, fruits and vegetables


A number of epidemiological studies prove that for the group of chronic socially significant diseases, nutritional factors are more important in cardiovascular diseases, oncological diseases, diabetes and obesity. Quantitative and qualitative nutritional disorders underlie the development of the most important risk factors for disease, disability and premature mortality in modern society. A target task of the programs for a healthy lifestyle is the reduction of habits harmful to health, among which unhealthy eating is included.

The purpose of the present study is to investigate unhealthy eating as a behavioral risk factor related to morbidity and mortality from socially significant diseases in Bulgaria and the other member states of the European Union.

Methodology: The following research methods were used: documentary method - review of: scientific literature; published materials from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on the health profiles of the countries; induction and deduction; comparative analysis; graphical method for visual presentation of the obtained results.

Results and analysis: From the study, it is clear that unhealthy eating as a behavioral risk factor for morbidity and mortality is represented by 17% on average in the European Union. In Bulgaria, 29% of all deaths in 2019, which is the highest share in the EU, are due to irrational and unbalanced nutrition. It is followed by the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. A significant role for this problem is the low intake of fruits and vegetables and the high consumption of sugar and table salt.

Conclusion: The main element of a healthy diet is the intake of fruits and vegetables. Their consumption varies between countries. The most significant benefits of their consumption are due to the reduction of both cardiovascular diseases and the prevention of oncological diseases.

Recommendations: It is necessary to direct the efforts of the society to a correct food policy, a change in the food system and good education of individuals to create their own healthy microenvironment, different from the current toxic and obesogenic environment. Only in this way will the development of the global epidemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other socially significant diseases be reduced.


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How to Cite

Yaneva, R. . (2023). UNHEALTHY DIET AS A BEHAVIORAL RISK FACTOR FOR SOCIALLY SIGNIFICANT DISEASES AND PREMATURE MORTALITY. MEDIS – International Journal of Medical Sciences and Research, 2(1), 53–58. https://doi.org/10.35120/medisij020153y