Having a proper meal with all the necessary nutrients is necessary and that sounds like common sense, but according to the findings of a recent global study, many people in the world aren't adhering to this practice.

The last issue of the medical journal the Lancet carried a number of reports based on a global study titled "The Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016" (GBD). The study found that poor diet (as distinct from starvation and malnutrition) is linked to one out of every five deaths around the world. According to an editorial in the journal, the study is the most in-depth study of global mortality rates ever conducted.

Researchers said millions of people around the world were following a diet containing excessive salt and saturated fat, and were not eating enough fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, omega 3 and whole grains, according to reports citing the study. The report evaluated data from 195 countries and was coordinated by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Poor diet is a major problem in the U.S. as well; in March, a study concluded that "dietary factors were estimated to be associated with a substantial proportion of deaths from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes."

Around 45 percent of deaths caused from the above factors could be due to people overeating or eating a diet which didn't adequately contain 10 types of food.

"Good" food that were consumed lesser included nuts and seeds, seafood rich in omega-3 fats including salmon and sardines, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. While the "bad" food or nutrients that were over-eaten included salt and salty foods, processed meats including bacon, bologna and hot dogs; red meat including steaks and hamburgers; and sugary drinks, CBS News reported citing the study

"Eating healthy is key, and if we remember that simple fact, most of us can have healthier and better lives," said lead author Renata Micha, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, Reuters reported.

Talking about how eating habits affect our bodies, Nancy Z. Farrell, an adjunct instructor at Germanna Community College in Locust Grove, Virginia, and a registered nutritionist, told International Business Times in an email: "There are many ways that eating habits contribute to our body composition and specifically obesity."

Listing how our changing eating habits can lead to overeating, Farrell said: "Firstly, we see large portion sizes in restaurants, at family gatherings, and at the family table. We have lost touch with what a responsible serving size is. We believe that the portion we are served is an appropriate serving size, and that can definitely lead to overeating."

Farrell also told IBT that availability of instant food now leads to many people ordering food from outside, instead of eating good food. "We have food and beverages available to us at every street corner and every function from holidays, to graduations, to promotions, to birthdays, etc. The convenience in which we can get food means we have generations that do not know how to cook."

All these instant food eating habits are depriving people of healthy food. People skip meals such as breakfast, which has a negative impact on jump-starting our metabolism for the day ahead, Farrell said. She went on to explain that people's busy schedules added with children's sport schedules and other personal functions is gradually making the tradition of family dinners fade away. 

So, can healthy eating habits be instilled in a child when he or she is growing up? Farrell said schools should have nutrition education along with other core courses.

"While core courses are very important, we need to recognize that we make hundreds of decisions each day regarding food, eating patterns, habits and preferences; dare I say more than some other academic courses? The best defense to guard against disease is an educated consumer," she said.