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Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2015;66(2):97-105.

Health effects of changes in the structure of dietary macronutrients intake in western societies.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, Medical University of Warsaw, Oczki street 3, 02-007 Warsaw, Poland.


A Western-type diet, characterized by a significant share of highly processed and refined foods and high content of sugars, salt, fat and protein from red meat, has been recognized as an important factor contributing to the development of metabolic disorders and the obesity epidemic around the world. Excessive body fat causes metabolic pathologies, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer. According to the World Health Organization 1.5 billion adults are overweight, nearly 500 million are obese and 220 million suffer from type 2 diabetes. The Western-type diet is also associated with an increased incidence of chronic kidney disease. It is known that a combination of nutrients typical for this diet contributes to impaired renal function, renal steatosis and inflammation, hypertension and dysfunctional renal hormonal regulation. The Western diet is also associated with a chronic inflammatory process that is involved in all stages of atherosclerosis development and is increasingly recognized as a universal mechanism of various chronic degenerative diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, some neoplasms or osteoporosis. The present article is focused on the results of the most recent research investigating the effects of dietary macronutrients and the type of fatty acids on selected mechanisms associated with the occurrence of the most common diet-related diseases.

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