Study finds that some poor countries have better diets than the rich

The Lancet and Lancet Global Health on obesity detailed the worsening food-consumption habits in 187 countries around the world. Strangely enough, it was found that people in some poor and middle-income countries have better diets than those in rich countries where major Western snack and soft drink makers are targeting children.

The poorer countries scored higher in the consumption of 13 healthy foods such as fruit and whole grain cereals compared to seven unhealthy foods such as colas and fats. Chad and Mali scored the highest, followed by Laos, Myanmar and Guyana whereas Greece and Turkey also fared well with their focus on the Mediterranean diet.

The countries with the worst diets were those of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Argentina, however the United States also had a below-average score and was on the same level as Brazil and Eastern European countries.

Egypt noted a particular worsening of its score since the H5N1 avian flu that resulted in the culling of home poultry flocks. This coincided with an increase in soft drink advertising with per capita consumption of Coke tripling in Egypt and McDonalds outlets multiplying.

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