Low intake of healthy foods causes hundreds of deaths in India annually, as per a Lancet study, which analysed 15 dietary factors and its effect on people across 195 countries.
Globally, one in five people (equivalent to 11 million) die due to the lack of optimal amounts of food and nutrients on their plates, the study said.
The study evaluated the consumption of major foods and nutrients and quantified the impact of poor diets on death and disease from non-communicable diseases (specifically cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes). It tracked trends between 1990 and 2017.
“This study affirms what many have thought for several years — that poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world,” said Christopher Murray, at University of Washington in the US.
“While sodium, sugar, and fat have been the focus of policy debates over the past two decades, our assessment suggests the leading dietary risk factors are high intake of sodium, or low intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and vegetables,” said Murray.
In 2017, the countries with the lowest rates of diet-related deaths were Israel, France, Spain, Japan, and Andorra. India ranked 118th with 310 deaths per 100,000 people.
The findings highlight the urgent need for coordinated global efforts to improve diet, through collaboration with various sections of the food system and policies that drive balanced diets.