MONDAY, Sept. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Despite all that people have learned about good nutrition, people around the world are not eating healthier than they were three decades ago, a new global review concludes.
Diets are still no closer to bad than zero – with plenty of Sugar and Processed Meats – Over 100 degrees account for plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and all grainsTufts University researchers report.
“Intake of legumes/nuts and non-starchy vegetables increased over time, but the overall improvement in diet quality was offset by increased intake of unhealthy ingredients such as red/processed meat and sugar- and sodium-sweetened beverages,” said lead author Victoria Miller. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston.
For the study, researchers measured eating patterns among adults and children in 185 countries, based on data collected from more than 1,100 diet surveys.
The researchers found that the world’s overall nutritional score is about 40.3, which represents a small but significant 1.5-point increase between 1990 and 2018.
But scores varied widely between regions, with rates ranging as low as 30.3 in Latin America and the Caribbean to 45.7 in South Asia.
Only 10 countries, representing less than 1% of the world’s population, have diet scores over 50.
The countries with the highest scores in the diet included Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia and India, while the countries with the lowest scores included Brazil, Mexico, the United States and Egypt.
Researchers have found that women are more likely to eat healthy food than men and older adults than younger adults.
“Healthy eating was also influenced by social and economic factors, including educational and urban level,” Miller said in a university news release. “Globally and in most regions, more educated adults and children with more educated parents had higher overall nutritional quality.”
In Key Notes, researchers said poor diets are responsible for more than a quarter of preventable deaths worldwide.
Countries can use this data to guide policies that promote Healthy foodDariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and dean of policy at the Friedman School, said.