Health Care

Poor Diet Linked to 1 in 5 Deaths Globally

Poor Diet Linked to 1 in 5 Deaths Globally”

The study found that of the 11 million diet-related deaths in 2017, 10 million were from cardiovascular diseases, 913,000 from cancer and 339,000 from type 2 diabetes.

On average, consumption of healthier foods such as nuts and seeds, milk and whole grains was too low and people consumed too many sugary drinks and too much processed meat and salt.

Astonishingly, it found that our daily diet is a bigger killer than smoking and is now involved in one in five deaths around the world.

Those diseases are heavily influenced by high amounts of salt in the diet, which can cause spikes in blood pressure, as well as directly affecting the functioning of the heart.

Out of the 195 countries studied, Israel had the lowest rate of diet-related deaths; Uzbekistan had the most.

"It is especially concerning to see that so many deaths in the United Kingdom could be avoided by tackling obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity".

In Bangladesh, low intake of fruits - below 250 grammes per day - was the leading dietary risk.

The rest were attributed to high consumption of red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened drinks and other unhealthy foods including those containing trans-fatty acids.

Poor diet leads to hundreds of deaths in India annually, according to a Lancet study which found that globally one in five people die due to the lack of optimal amounts of food and nutrients on their plates.

The last million deaths are from cancers and type-2 diabetes linked to diet.

The study also pinpointed the key elements of a healthy diet that not only prevents those deaths, but can actually actively protect consumers' bodies from the illnesses measured: nuts, seeds, seafood, fiber, fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Murray wrote, "This study affirms what many have thought for several years - that poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world".

"The really big story for people to act on is increase your whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetable intake and reduce salt if you can".

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Nita Forouhi of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine said that despite the limitations, the study's findings "provide evidence to shift the focus, as the authors argue, from an emphasis on dietary restriction to promoting healthy food components in a global context".

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