These diet habits kill more people than smoking

About 11 million people eat themselves into early graves each year — but the riskiest diet habits may come as a surprise.

The new Global Burden of Disease Study, which analyzed dietary consumption in 195 countries between 1990 and 2017, concluded that poor (or “non-optimal”) diets are responsible for 1 in 5 deaths — more than any other risk factors, including tobacco smoking. (Tobacco kills 8 million people globally, in comparison.) After all, unhealthy diets are associated with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and many forms of cancer.

But its definition of a “non-optimal” diet may shock consumers who have been fed countless meal-plan fads that call for cutting carbs, sugar or dairy to lose weight and stay healthy as part of the $66 billion weight loss market.

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