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Bad Diet More Lethal Than Smoking; New Study

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A bad diet could be more lethal for you than even smoking, a new study published in the Lancet medical journal found.

As much as 11 million deaths could be prevented globally if people consume more vegetables, fruit, nuts and legumes, say researchers, calling for a global shift in policy to promote these food items.

While eating sugar and trans-fats were found to be detrimental for the health; the major problem is not the junk that we eat but the nutritious food we don’t, the study states.

Researchers found that the top causes of diet related deaths were heart attacks and strokes, followed by cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The research is part of the Global Burden of Disease study by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), based in Seattle, US. According to the institute, the paper is the most comprehensive analysis on the health effects of diet ever conducted.

The study found that eating and drinking better could prevent one in five deaths around the world. Although diets vary from one country to another, eating too few fruits and vegetables and too much sodium (salt) accounted for half of all deaths and two-thirds of the years of disability attributable to diet.

“Our findings show that suboptimal diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risks globally, including tobacco smoking, highlighting the urgent need for improving human diet across nations,” the study states.

Israel had the lowest rate of diet-related deaths, at 89 per 100,000 people, followed by France, Spain and Japan. The UK ranked 23rd, with 127 diet-related deaths per 100,000 and the US was 43rd with 171. Uzbekistan was last, with 892.

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