Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 4th of June 2018 to The Sounding Line.
The following chart, from Our World in Data, reveals the 26 leading risk factors that contribute to roughly 97% of global deaths (53.9 million of roughly 55.3 million deaths).
You can view the top risk factors for individual countries by clicking on the ‘change country’ button at the bottom of the chart.
Of the top 26 risk factors listed globally, 12 are linked to unhealthy lifestyle choices (high blood pressure, smoking, high blood sugar, obesity, high cholesterol, alcohol use, low physical activity, insufficient fruits and vegetables, unsafe sex, secondhand smoke, and drug use). Those 12 are in turn linked to over three quarters of global deaths. The leading non-lifestyle risk factors are outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution, grave problems effecting 95% of the world’s population, and itself a problem which is partially linked to over-consumption.
In today’s world, the average person is several times more likely to eat, drink, and smoke themselves to death than to die of famine or poor sanitation. This seeming inversion of historical causes of death is a result of the convergence of two trends: dramatically fewer people dying of contagious diseases and famine (a good thing) and a massive increase in obesity rates around the world (a bad thing).
To illustrate the gravity of the global obesity problem, consider the following video from Metrocosm, which shows the skyrocketing obesity rates around the world since 1975.
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