The research, published in the Lancet medical journal, found that among 195 countries studied, the proportion of diet-related deaths was highest in Uzbekistan and lowest in Israel. The United States ranked 43rd, while Britain was 23rd, China 140th and India 118th.
The consumption of healthier foods such as nuts and seeds, milk and whole grains was on average very low, and people consumed many sugary drinks and lots of processed meat and salt. This led to one in five deaths in 2017, linked to more diets.
The Global Burden of Disease study tracked trends from 1990 to 2017 for consumption of 15 dietary factors. Chris Murray, director of the Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment at the University of Washington who led the work, said that "it affirms what many have thought for several years."
"The poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world," he said.
"Our assessment suggests that the main dietary risk factors are high sodium intake or low intakes of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds and vegetables."
The study found that people eat only 12% of the recommended amount of nuts and seeds – an average intake of 3 grams per day compared with those recommended – and drink more than 10 times the recommended amount of sugary drinks. Diets high in sugar, salt and bad fats are known risk factors for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many types of cancer.
The overall diet also included less than a quarter of the recommended amount of whole grains – with 29 grams of average intake per day compared to the recommended 125 grams – and almost double the recommended amount of processed meat – around 4 grams per day . the 2 g recommended.
A study published in January suggested that an "ideal diet" for the health of people and the planet would include a doubling of consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables and vegetables and a reduction of half of the consumption of meat and sugar.
In an analysis of diet-related deaths, the study found that out of 11 million in 2017, almost 10 million were from cardiovascular disease, about 913,000 from cancer and nearly 339,000 from type 2 diabetes.
Annual diet-related deaths increased from 8 million in 1990, but researchers said that this was largely due to population growth and population aging.