Unhealthy Diet Is Deadlier Than Smoking, Dubbed World’s Biggest Killer

Photo by Hindustan Times/Shutterstock

Everything kills these days, apparently. It can be too much sleep, lack of sleep, too much social media, and even lack of exercise, more so if you pair all of those with smoking. However, it doesn’t end there– in fact, there is now a bigger killer than all of those including smoking, and that is your diet. Of course, not just any diet, but an unhealthy diet.


A recent study published in The Lancet has shown the biggest unseen killer in the modern world: an unhealthy diet. According to the data compiled by researchers, a poor or unhealthy diet has contributed to around 11 million deaths worldwide in the year 2017 which accounts for 22 percent of the total number of deaths that year.


By comparison, smoking was only responsible for around 8 million of those deaths. It is worth noting that poor diet alone cannot kill you, but rather it can lead to diet-related diseases like heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes, etc., all of which can kill. Since such diseases could have been avoided with a proper and healthy diet, then the research has concluded that an unhealthy diet is the main culprit.


Now, what constitutes an unhealthy diet? Based on the study: low intake of whole grains and fruits, high sodium consumption, and high red meat consumption to name a few. There were 15 total dietary risk factors that can make your diet an unhealthy one, here’s the table of what you should be eating to avoid an unhealthy diet.


“Poor diet is an equal-opportunity killer. We are what we eat and risks affect people across a range of demographics, including age, gender, and economic status,” explains lead scientist Dr. Ashkan Afshin, from the University of Washington.


With that in mind, there exists another layer of problem beneath that in the form of a society that doesn’t really support a proper diet and moreover, indirectly encourages an unhealthy diet due to several factors such as work, parenting, school, lack of organic food, and economic situations among many others. The irony is poor people who can’t afford a healthy diet mostly work hard so some rich people can have theirs.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a seasoned professional with a strong background in growth strategies and editorial responsibilities. Kokou has been instrumental in driving companies' expansion and fortifying their market presence. His academic credentials underscore his expertise; having studied Communication at the Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy), he later honed his skills in growth hacking at the Growth Tribe Academy (Amsterdam).


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