Just say no to junk food.
Unhealthy eating now claims more lives than tobacco, according to new findings published in The Lancet. The British journal found that one in five deaths a year, or 11 million globally, are a result of eating too many salty or sugary foods — and not enough fibrous ones from vegetables and whole grains.
The researchers used nearly 20 years of data from 195 countries. They got the number by adding up the deaths from diseases associated with eating poorly: For instance, cardiovascular disease claims 10 million lives a year around the world. Other diseases like cancer and type II diabetes often link back to bad eating habits.
The countries with the fewest deaths from bad eating habits were the ones that follow the Mediterranean diet, such as Spain, the researchers said. The country’s produce-rich and emphasis on olive oil (plus a sincere enjoyment of mealtimes) made it this year’s healthiest country, according to the 2019 Bloomberg Healthy Country Index.
Cigarettes are rapidly moving down the list as public enemy number one. Earlier this week, a new study claimed that drinking one bottle of wine a week is as cancer-causing as smoking up to ten cigarettes during the same time period.