Low fiber, high salt diets responsible for one in five deaths worldwide


That's different from obesity, say the researchers, as these are deaths not from overeating, but from nutritional imbalance in the diet - too much salt, or too few fruits, vegetables and whole grains. "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, at University of Washington in the US.

The largest number of deaths is recorded in China and India, with millions of diet-related deaths per year (over 3 million and 1 million respectively), then Russian Federation with 550,000.

Poor diet is one of the leading causes of deaths around the world.

Overall, poor diet is behind 16-percent of adult DALYs around the world.

Dr Oyinlola Oyebode, Associate Professor at Warwick Medical School, said: "This high-quality research examines dietary patterns across the globe and linking these to data on death and illness to determine what might be the most important dietary factors in the development of disease in the countries studied". The biggest excesses were seen for sugar-sweetened drinks, processed meat and sodium.

The findings indicate that the general public would benefit from a diet that decreases the consumption of sugary drinks, processed foods, red meat, and high sodium products, instead replacing those substances with fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, plant-based proteins, and whole grains.

Among all 195 countries, Uzbekistan saw the highest rate of diet-related deaths - 892 deaths per 100,000 people - followed by Afghanistan and the Marshall Islands.

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A new study found that people in 195 countries are not eating enough good foods and that may cause more deaths than smoking tobacco.

This number is equivalent to 11 million deaths per year, which is more than the number of fatalities linked to smoking and high blood pressure.

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

Experts blame a drop in the global consumption of foods such as nuts, seeds, milk and whole grains and increases in processed meat, salt and soda.

However, they're encouraging people to focus more on adding healthy foods to their diets, rather than punishing them for eating fat and sugar.

An analysis of nearly 20 years of diet data from 195 countries found that poor diets killed 11 million people globally in 2017. The UK ranked 23rd, the United States 43rd, China 140th, and India 118th. "It's important both policy makers and the food industry work together to be part of the solution to increase the consumption of not only fruits and vegetables but also whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes".