Bad diet and health image

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Cruising through the drive-thru a few times a week couldn’t possibly do more harm to your body than smoking a cigarette—right? Think again. A new report by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has found that worldwide, poor dietary conditions—ranging from malnutrition to junk food overindulgence—are more threatening to our collective health than tobacco, alcohol, and drugs combined.

The panel analyzed 250 previously published peer-reviewed studies and articles to draw conclusions about the troubling state of nutrition from nation to nation. According to their calculations, the disease risk factors linked to a person’s diet—including high blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index, in addition to malnutrition and general dietary risks—resulted in ill health, disability, and death more often than disease risk factors not linked to the diet.

Non-dietary risk factors, including tobacco smoke, air pollution, unsafe sex, and alcohol and drug use, while certainly harmful, paled in comparison to the dietary issues, CNN reports.

Gillie Houston

Food and Wine, September 30, 2016

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