This Kills More People Globally than Smoking, High Blood Pressure


At least 1 in 5 deaths worldwide have been linked to a poor diet, and researchers say these 11 million deaths each year could be prevented through improved diets, a recent global study has found.


“This study shows that poor diet is the leading risk factor for deaths in the majority of the countries of the world,” said Ashkan Afshin from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, adding that bad diets represent “a larger determinant of ill health than either tobacco or high blood pressure.”

New research published in the Lancet medical journal, called the Global Burden of Disease and led by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, looked at 195 countries, analyzing data that ultimately linked the contributing factors of disease which led to death with dietary habits.

The highest diet-related deaths occurred in Uzbekistan, while the lowest were in Israel.

Diet responsible for 1 in 5 deaths

In 2017, researchers say the main contributor leading to the death of 11 million people around the globe is the result of poor diets. People developed heart disease, cancer and diabetes as a result of eating substandard diets that were high in sugar, salt and processed meats.

What to avoid and what to increase

The researchers urged the avoidance of sugary drinks, food high in sodium, and eating too much processed meat.

Researchers said that the people with poor diets didn’t consume enough fruits, vegetables nuts, seeds, milk and whole grains.

Diet-related disease

Of the 11 million people who died in 2017, and whose deaths were attributed to be a consequence of bad dietary habits, the study found that 10 million of those deaths occurred from cardiovascular disease, 913,004 from cancer, and almost 339,000 from type 2 diabetes.