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Lancet. 2019 May 11;393(10184):1958-1972. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30041-8. Epub 2019 Apr 4.

Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.

Collaborators (132)

Afshin A, Sur PJ, Fay KA, Cornaby L, Ferrara G, Salama JS, Mullany EC, Abate KH, Abbafati C, Abebe Z, Afarideh M, Aggarwal A, Agrawal S, Akinyemiju T, Alahdab F, Bacha U, Bachman VF, Badali H, Badawi A, Bensenor IM, Bernabe E, Biadgilign SKK, Biryukov SH, Cahill LE, Carrero JJ, Cercy KM, Dandona L, Dandona R, Dang AK, Degefa MG, El Sayed Zaki M, Esteghamati A, Esteghamati S, Fanzo J, Farinha CSES, Farvid MS, Farzadfar F, Feigin VL, Fernandes JC, Flor LS, Foigt NA, Forouzanfar MH, Ganji M, Geleijnse JM, Gillum RF, Goulart AC, Grosso G, Guessous I, Hamidi S, Hankey GJ, Harikrishnan S, Hassen HY, Hay SI, Hoang CL, Horino M, Islami F, Jackson MD, James SL, Johansson L, Jonas JB, Kasaeian A, Khader YS, Khalil IA, Khang YH, Kimokoti RW, Kokubo Y, Kumar GA, Lallukka T, Lopez AD, Lorkowski S, Lotufo PA, Lozano R, Malekzadeh R, März W, Meier T, Melaku YA, Mendoza W, Mensink GBM, Micha R, Miller TR, Mirarefin M, Mohan V, Mokdad AH, Mozaffarian D, Nagel G, Naghavi M, Nguyen CT, Nixon MR, Ong KL, Pereira DM, Poustchi H, Qorbani M, Rai RK, Razo-García C, Rehm CD, Rivera JA, Rodríguez-Ramírez S, Roshandel G, Roth GA, Sanabria J, Sánchez-Pimienta TG, Sartorius B, Schmidhuber J, Schutte AE, Sepanlou SG, Shin MJ, Sorensen RJD, Springmann M, Szponar L, Thorne-Lyman AL, Thrift AG, Touvier M, Tran BX, Tyrovolas S, Ukwaja KN, Ullah I, Uthman OA, Vaezghasemi M, Vasankari TJ, Vollset SE, Vos T, Vu GT, Vu LG, Weiderpass E, Werdecker A, Wijeratne T, Willett WC, Wu JH, Xu G, Yonemoto N, Yu C, Murray CJL.



Suboptimal diet is an important preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs); however, its impact on the burden of NCDs has not been systematically evaluated. This study aimed to evaluate the consumption of major foods and nutrients across 195 countries and to quantify the impact of their suboptimal intake on NCD mortality and morbidity.


By use of a comparative risk assessment approach, we estimated the proportion of disease-specific burden attributable to each dietary risk factor (also referred to as population attributable fraction) among adults aged 25 years or older. The main inputs to this analysis included the intake of each dietary factor, the effect size of the dietary factor on disease endpoint, and the level of intake associated with the lowest risk of mortality. Then, by use of disease-specific population attributable fractions, mortality, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), we calculated the number of deaths and DALYs attributable to diet for each disease outcome.


In 2017, 11 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 10-12) deaths and 255 million (234-274) DALYs were attributable to dietary risk factors. High intake of sodium (3 million [1-5] deaths and 70 million [34-118] DALYs), low intake of whole grains (3 million [2-4] deaths and 82 million [59-109] DALYs), and low intake of fruits (2 million [1-4] deaths and 65 million [41-92] DALYs) were the leading dietary risk factors for deaths and DALYs globally and in many countries. Dietary data were from mixed sources and were not available for all countries, increasing the statistical uncertainty of our estimates.


This study provides a comprehensive picture of the potential impact of suboptimal diet on NCD mortality and morbidity, highlighting the need for improving diet across nations. Our findings will inform implementation of evidence-based dietary interventions and provide a platform for evaluation of their impact on human health annually.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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