Just How Deadly Is A Poor Diet?
We know that eating a healthy, balanced diet is important, but how important? What is the global cost of unhealthy eating?
The results, published in The Lancet, suggest that 1 in 5 deaths globally (11 million) are associated with poor diet.
''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.''
- Study author Dr Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, USA.
The biggest offenders were diets high in salt or low in whole grains and fruit.
Together, these accounted for more than half of all diet-related deaths globally in 2017
Out of all diet-related deaths, an estimated 10 million were due to cardiovascular disease.
In general, people in all world regions did a poor job of eating the optimal amount of the 15 dietary factors.
On average, the world population only ate 12% of the recommended amount of nuts and seeds, but drank around ten times the recommended amount of sugar sweetened drinks.
To protect the health of both humanity and the planet, we need a radical shift in dietary intake throughout the world, but achieving this goal is challenging.
In low-income countries, two daily servings of fruits and three of vegetables per person would cost 52% of household income.