People are no healthier today than they were 30 years ago

The world eats no healthier than thirty years ago. Although more vegetables are being eaten, more sweet drinks and red meat are also being eaten.

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An unhealthy diet reduces life expectancy. It is estimated that eleven million deaths a year worldwide can be attributed to it, as an international research team found out. Photo: Armin Weigel – dpa-infocom GmbH


the essentials in brief

  • The nutrition of the world has practically not improved in recent years.
  • Both healthy and unhealthy foods are consumed more.
  • Around one in four preventable deaths is due to poor nutrition.

Around the world, people are hardly healthier today than they were 30 years ago. Although more legumes, nuts and vegetables rich in vitamins are being eaten than before, more unhealthy foods are also being consumed – for example sweetened drinks or red meat and processed meat products, as a study shows.

According to the scientists around Victoria Miller from Tufts University (Boston/USA), poor nutrition is one of the main causes of diseases. It is estimated to be responsible for 26 percent of all preventable deaths. The researchers present their results in the journal “Nature Food”.

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A balanced diet with fresh and natural foods is beneficial for liver health. – Unsplash

On a scale from 0 to 100, which indicates how well people adhere to recommended diets, most countries scored around 40 in 2018 – 1.5 points higher than in 1990.

Study based on data from 185 countries

The value 0 stands for a very poor diet and 100 for a very good, balanced diet. Among the 25 most populous countries in the world, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt and the USA have the lowest values; Vietnam, India, Iran and Indonesia the highest.

For their study, the research team evaluated data from over 1,100 studies and worked out the nutritional behavior of people from 185 countries between 1990 and 2018.

The study also includes nutritional data from children and adolescents, which the scientists say is a first. They point out that the results of their study have some limitations, for example because complete data were not available from all countries.

More on the subject:

Food data study

The article is in German

Tags: People healthier today years

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