Some 63 percent of deaths in Russia are caused by illnesses related to poor diet, the country's consumer watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said, while promoting its voluntary 'traffic lights' food markings.

The marking system is designed to help people tell unhealthy products from healthy ones. The markings - green, yellow and red - show how much fat, saturated fats, sugar and salt a product contains, making it easier for consumers to choose their rations wisely.

"Some 63 percent of deaths in Russia are related to illnesses, caused by bad diet, while obesity affects women 2-2.5 times more often than men," the watchdog said in a statement.

The voluntary 'traffic lights' system of markings was launched this summer, and two large Russian food retailers have already joined it, according to Rospotrebnadzor. In December, the largest producer of foods and drinks - the Pepsi Co - also joined the marking system, placing the labeling on some of its products.

"It's important to realize, that the 'traffic lights' markings do not reflect the danger or harm a product might do to one's health," the watchdog stressed. "The consumer will be able to consciously decide which products can be eaten virtually without restrictions, and consumption of which should be limited."

Since the marking system is voluntary, there's no deadline for retailers and producers to join it. Any of them are able to take part when their "production capabilities" are ready, Rospotebnadzor added.