A new comprehensive study entitled “The Global Burden of Disease” was published in medical journal The Lancet and revealed 71.3 percent of deaths in 2015 were caused by dietary and lifestyle choices—as compared to only 57.6 percent in 1990. The study was conducted over the course of 25 years across 195 countries, and compiled data related to 249 causes of death, 315 diseases and injuries, and 75 risk factors. Findings showed that while life expectancy had risen in that time period, deaths caused by non-communicable diseases related to dietary choices—including obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease—grew substantially. The top risk factor for death was determined to be high blood pressure, followed by smoking, high blood sugar, and high body mass index. Recent studies have repeatedly linked meat-centric diets to risks for developing certain cancers, heart disease, and obesity. Conversely, studies show that plant-based diets alleviate the pain of diabetes, improve heart health, and promote healthy weight loss.
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