1 in 5 deaths globally linked to poor diet

Desiree Burns
April 7, 2019

"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", said Christopher Murray, Director at the University of Washington in the US.

Beyond its sobering conclusion, the study was notable for what it prescribed: Rather than browbeating people to reduce their consumption of the fats and sugars that are correlated with illness and premature death, the authors determined that adding healthier foods to global diets was a more effective way to reduce mortality.

(Web Desk) - Unhealthy diets are responsible for the deaths of 11 million people globally per year, even more than smoking tobacco, according to a study.

Low intake of healthy foods causes hundreds of deaths in India annually, as per a Lancet study, which analysed 15 dietary factors and its effect on people across 195 countries. The other 50 per cent were due to high red meat, processed meat, sugary beverages' intake. The causes of these deaths were revealed to include 10 million deaths from cardiovascular disease, 913,000 cancer deaths, and nearly 339,000 deaths from type 2 diabetes.

The fact that deaths related to diet have increased from eight million in 1990, is an alarming issue.

Researchers said fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes should be promoted for healthy living. For instance, Israel, Spain, and France had good scores for healthy diets.

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Variations in poor diets apart, the research factors towards three dietary elements that drastically contributed towards food regimen-associated demise and DALYs: excessive sodium consumption, low complete grains consumption, and small quantities of fruit in a single's weight-reduction plan.

In Bangladesh, low intake of fruits - below 250 grams per day - was the leading dietary risk. Globally, people were eating only 12% as many nuts they should be, and only 23% as many whole grains.

The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study describes itself as "the single largest and most detailed scientific effort ever conducted to quantify levels and trends in health". "Our research finds the need for a comprehensive food system intervention to promote the production, distribution, and consumption of healthy foods across nations".

Co-authors are: Gang Liu, Ph.D.; Ambika Satija, Sc.D.; Yanping Li, Ph.D.; Qi Sun, M.D., Sc.D.; Teresa T. Fung, Sc.D.; Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D.; Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H.; Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D.; and Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, Ph.D.

The IHME study on dietary risks finds that in southern sub-Saharan Africa, diets low in fruits were the number one reason for diet-related deaths.

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