It's no secret that an individual's diet is tied to their life expectancy, however, according to the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington found that "poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths around the world," The Guardian reported.
The Institute collects 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 - all part of the ongoing Global Burden of Disease study - have already been published by the Lancet medical journal.
Studies have shown that diet is the second highest risk factor for early death, only after smoking. And while people are living longer (life expectancy for women worldwide in 2016 was 75.3 for women and 69.8 for men), they are spending more years in ill health. The article calls out obesity as one of the major reasons.