Consider a recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which notes: "Worldwide, malnutrition costs $3.5 trillion annually, with overweight- and obesity-related noncommunicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, adding $2 trillion". Deaths related to diet have increased from 8 million in 1990, largely due to increases in the population and population ageing.
The US follows with the fourth-highest rate of deaths from diet.
130 scientists compared dietary habits to rates of death and disease in 195 countries and found that a bad diet claims more lives to smoking because it can cause heart disease, cancer and diabetes. They also noted that in 2017, more deaths were caused by diets too low in whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds, than by diets containing high levels of foods such as trans fats, processed meats and sugary drinks.
"Poor diet is an equal opportunity killer", said Dr Afshin.More news: Southampton vs Liverpool Premier League Live Stream Reddit
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.
Mexico ranked 11th, the USA 43rd and China 140th. University of Washington epidemiologist Dr. Ashkan Afshin explains to the New York Times that while cutting back on salt should be a priority, the gulf between what we should be doing and are doing is greatest with healthy foods, giving this example: Globally, we eat an average of 27 grams of red meat a day, just a bit higher than the recommended 23 grams.
In an accompanying editorial, Professor Nita Forouhi of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine said that despite the limitations, the study's findings "provide evidence to shift the focus, as the authors argue, from an emphasis on dietary restriction to promoting healthy food components in a global context". Improving diets won't be easy: A range of initiatives may be needed, including nutrition education and increased access to healthy foods, as well as rethinking agricultural production.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said "more must be done to reduce the burden of diet-related disease". "For instance, fruits and vegetables should make up 80 percent of your diet".More news: Avicii's first posthumous single and album to be released
'Two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables per day per individual accounted for 52 percent of household income in low-income countries, 18 percent in low to middle-income countries, 16 percent in middle to upper-income countries, and 2 percent in high-income countries.
The conclusion was drawn at the end of a long-standing global study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and published in The Lancet on April 3.
"Poor diet is associated with 1 in 5 deaths worldwide, according to a new, large study".More news: Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play warning issued after 10 deaths