Poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths, global disease study reveals

by Sarah Boseley, Health Editor

Poor diets can lead to early death.  Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Malnutrition is due to eating poorly; eating the wrong amounts and kinds of foods – either overeating, and under-eating.

A recent comprehensive study done by the the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, compiled data from every country in the world. Poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths around the world, according to this study.

Millions of people are eating the wrong sorts of food for good health. Eating a diet that is low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds and fish oils and high in salt raises the risk of an early death, according to the huge and ongoing study Global Burden of Disease.

The study, based at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, compiles data from every country in the world and makes informed estimates where there are gaps. Five papers on life expectancy and the causes and risk factors of death and ill health have been published by the Lancet medical journal.