In case you needed another reason to prioritize eating well, this one should do it. A new study published in the journal The Lancet found that one in five global deaths in 2016 can be linked to a poor diet.
“In particular, diets low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish oil and high in salt were the most common dietary risk factors,” the research team wrote in the report. “In addition, high blood glucose, high blood pressure, high body mass index [BMI], and high cholesterol were all in the top ten leading risk factors for death for men and women globally.”
That’s a major issue considering that all of those health issues can be traced back to less-than-stellar eating habits, according to a Newsweek piece on the findings.
As Newsweek writer Janissa Delzo also noted, smoking was the only other risk factor tied to more deaths than a poor diet, having killed an estimated 7.1 million people in 2016.
It’s an issue that Dr. Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute of Health Metric and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and the study’s lead author, says global leaders need to prioritize. “This is really large…It is amongst the really big problems in the world. It is a cluster that is getting worse,” Murray told The Guardian.
Read the full report here.