It is no secret that an unhealthy diet can lead to a myriad of health obstacles, but according to a new study published in the journal Lancet, the health of an individual is more affected by the lack of healthy foods than the overconsumption of unhealthy foods.
Researchers conducted a 27-year global diet analysis and found that poor diet is a higher risk factor for death than any other. In 2017, for example, at least one in every five deaths was a result of lacking nutrition in their diets, rather than eating too many unhealthy foods. Moreover, more than half of diet-related deaths that occured in 2017 were due to a lack of certain nutritious foods, and not because of the intake of unhealthy foods.
The yearly Global Burden of Diseases report is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the group of researchers released its diet for a healthy planet, which outlines some key ways in which premature deaths could be avoided by improving diets. Mainly, this would include reducing red meat consumption and sugar intake, and increasing intake of fruits, vegetables and nuts.
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