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Eating Healthily, Globally

January 20, 2014

fresh-fruit-and-vegetablesA new report from Oxfam America ranks countries according to the ease of securing a nutritious and diverse diet. It’s an interesting index because it includes various measures for access to food, quality of food, and public health related to food (diabetes and obesity rates, for example).

The report finds that the Netherlands ranked first, with France and Switzerland tying for second. Western Europe dominated the top of the rankings, securing 19 of the top 20 positions (Australia came in 8th). For its part, the United States tied with Japan for 21st place—primarily because of our relatively high rates of obesity and diabetes.  And Africa dominated the lowest rankings, primarily as a result of a high rates of malnutrition and high food prices.

In an interview about the new report, Oxfam’s Max Lawson concluded that “Basically, if you arrive from Mars and design a food system, you probably couldn’t design a worse one than what we have today on Earth. There is enough food overall in the world to feed everyone. But 900 million people still don’t have enough to eat, and 1 billion people are obese. It’s a crazy situation.”

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