Globally, one in five deaths are associated with poor diet

ScienceDaily | 4/3/2019 | Staff
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The study estimates that one in five deaths globally -- equivalent to 11 million deaths -- are associated with poor diet, and diet contributes to a range of chronic diseases in people around the world. In 2017, more deaths were caused by diets with too low amounts of foods such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds than by diets with high levels of foods like trans fats, sugary drinks, and high levels of red and processed meats.

The authors say that their findings highlight the urgent need for coordinated global efforts to improve diet, through collaboration with various sections of the food system and policies that drive balanced diets.

Study - Years - Diet - Deaths - Risk

"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," says study author Dr Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, USA. "While sodium, sugar, and fat have been the focus of policy debates over the past two decades, our assessment suggests the leading dietary risk factors are high intake of sodium, or low intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and vegetables. The paper also highlights the need for comprehensive interventions to promote the production, distribution, and consumption of healthy foods across all nations."

The study evaluated the consumption of major foods and nutrients across 195 countries and quantified the impact of poor diets on death and disease from non-communicable diseases (specifically cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes). It tracked trends between 1990 and 2017.

Population - Level - Assessment - Health - Effects

Previously, population level assessment of the health effects of suboptimal diet has not been possible because of the complexities of characterising dietary consumption across different nations. The new study combines and analyses data from epidemiological studies -- in the absence...
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