The Wealthiest Countries Have the Poorest Diets (study)

A landmark study assessing the diet quality of 187 countries saw an increase in the consumption of unhealthy foods such as processed food and sweetened drinks. 

Our penchant for fresh fruits and vegetables is no match for the deluge of sweets and processed goods we’re consuming.

A new study published in The Lancet Global Health Journal demonstrates that unhealthy eating patterns are the norm in most world regions. Taking a closer look, it’s actually the world’s wealthiest countries that have the poorest diets because they also have the highest consumption of unhealthy food.

“To a certain extent, we’re paying for convenience at the cost of our health,” Congressman Tim Ryan writes in his latest book, The Real Food Revolution. Ryan argues that the gap between healthy food and “fake food with lower nutritional value” needs to shrink.

And it’s a concept Mindful tackled in the April 2015 issue: How do we cultivate healthy eating habits and the workforce to sustain it.

As Barry Boyce, Mindful’s Editor-in-Chief, writes in his April column, cultivating healthy eating habits has implications from the personal to the global:

Where food is concerned, it’s vitally important for us to pay attention to how we obtain our food, not only because if we eat bad food, we get sick real fast, but also because if food isn’t grown with care, it can damage our long-term health, our land, our rivers, our air, and our oceans. It already is.

Read Boyce’s column, “A Mindful Eating Revolution.”

“The price gap between real, healthy food and fake food with lower nutritional value needs to shrink,” Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) writes in his new book,The Real Food Revolution. “Food marketers are fooling people into thinking they’re getting bargains when they go out for a fast food meal or buy sugary cereal that is marked down.” Read Ryan’s article, “Does Fast Food Cost Less?” in the April 2015 issue of Mindful.

Photograph by Marvin Moore