‘Health care specialists have been advising the general public to cut back on fast food consumption for years, and for good reason. Recent data showed that poor dietary habits accounted for nearly half of all cardiometabolic deaths in the U.S. Researchers at the Tufts University in Massachusetts found that there were more than 702,000 cardiometabolic deaths among American adults in 2012. Forty-five percent of these deaths were linked to poor diet, researchers said.

Researchers also noted higher rates of diet-related cardiometabolic deaths in men compared with women. Cardiometabolic deaths associated with poor dietary choices were also more prevalent among people ages 25 to 54 years old. The risk of cardiometabolic deaths were 10% higher in African Americans and Hispanics compared with Caucasians.

Diets high in sodium and processed meats, commonly seen in fast food restaurants, increased the risk of cardiometabolic death, the study showed. On the other hand, the risk of cardiometabolic death remained stable for diets high in whole grain, vegetables, fruits and omega-3 fatty acid.’

Read more: Fast food diets causing majority of stroke and diabetes deaths across U.S.