SPOKANE, Wash. — Researchers say millions of people are dying from unhealthy diets across the world.
A recent study from Dr. Ashkan Afshin, an assistant professor of Health and Metrics Sciences at the University of Washington, and a team of researchers found that one in five deaths worldwide are associated with a poor diet.
The study tracked consumption trends from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries.
In 2017 alone, 11 million deaths were associated with unhealthy diets, according to the study. Of these deaths, about 10 million were from heart disease, more than 913,000 were from obesity-related cancers and almost 339,000 were from Type 2 diabetes.
The authors did note several important limitations to the study, according to CBS News. While the research uses the best available data, there are gaps in the data available for intake of key foods and nutrients around the world, which increases the statistical uncertainty of these estimates.
Jen Ropp, a local registered dietitian and diabetes educator with the Multicare Rockwood Clinic in Spokane, said the road to being healthy often involves spending more time grocery shopping in the produce section and less time in the protein and dairy sections.
"With my work in the clinic where I work a lot with diabetes — particularly Type 2 diabetes — the amount of processed foods that people eat definitely is associated with where their health condition and concerns are," Ropp said. "It is, a lot of times, about taking those foods out but then replacing them with those healthy foods that we talked about and are also referred to in the study."
Afshin told CBS News that poor dietary habits are a combination of eating too many unhealthy foods like red and processed meats and sugary drinks, but also not eating enough healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and seeds.
Even so, researchers in this study found that more deaths were associated with not eating enough healthy foods rather than eating too many unhealthy foods.