Poor Diet Causes More Deaths Than Smoking, Study Reveals

Leslie Hanson
April 7, 2019

Instead, they say the best way to cut down on those deaths is to push the foods people should be eating more of, including nuts, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains.

Dr. Hyman said when we only focus on getting rid of bad foods, and not on adding nutritional ones, we make a mistake because good foods that promote health - such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds - are like medicine to our bodies.

This is because there is a bigger gap between how much healthy food people should eat and what they actually do, than how much unhealthy food people eat and the amount they should consume.

"Diet quality matters no matter what weight you are", Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, told the BBC about the report.

The report highlighted large variation in diet-related deaths between nations, with the highest-risk country Uzbekistan having ten times the food-based mortality rate of the lowest-risk, Israel.

The causes of these deaths were cardiovascular disease (10 million deaths), cancer (913,000 deaths) and type 2 diabetes (almost 339,000 deaths).

The UK had 127 diet-related deaths per 100,000 people per year, and the United States had 170.

A lack of eating healthy foods like whole grains, fruit and nuts and seeds, combined with a high intake of sodium was found to be more unsafe than even trans fats, sugar-sweetened drinks and processed meats, the study published Wednesday in the Lancet said. Diet can also be a risk factor for many chronic diseases, such diabetes.


Nuts should also be eaten daily as another source of plant-protein and healthy fats. As the Trump administration and USA lawmakers debate whether able-bodied people who don't work should be entitled to public food assistance, it's clear that many people around the globe struggle to afford healthy foods.

Diets lacking in healthy food are responsible for more deaths across the globe than smoking, a major new study has concluded.

The researchers said that the countries that did well generally have diets close to the Mediterranean diet, which has higher amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and healthy oils.

Each of these factors accounted for more than 2% of all deaths globally.

"Poor diet is an equal opportunity killer".

Dr Anna Diaz Font, from the World Cancer Research Fund, said: "This study is very important as it demonstrates the major role that diet plays in the health of individuals and populations".

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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER