News: The best (and worst) places in the world for healthy eating

We’re very lucky in Canada to have access to fresh produce and clean water – but we’re not the number


We’re very lucky in Canada to have access to fresh produce and clean water – but we’re not the number one country in the world when it comes to healthy eating. In fact, we’re 25th.

According to a report from nonprofit Oxfam, the Netherlands come in first for nutritious eats, followed closely by France, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Belgium.

The report, which ranks healthy eating according to four categories, includes 125 countries. Here’s how these countries stacked up in each category.

Do people have enough to eat?

Many of the countries on the list have enough to eat (in fact, 28 of them had a perfect score). But even more countries don’t have enough, with Burundi scoring the worst. There, 67 percent of people are undernourished and 35 percent of children are underweight (a common occurence in developing countries).

Can people afford to eat?

In terms of affordability, the U.S. ranks the highest. Angola ranks worst.

Is food good quality?

The country that ranks best for food quality is Iceland. The worst is Madagascar, where an average of 79 percent of what people eat is nutrient-poor cereals, roots and root vegetables (tubers).

Unhealthy eating?

Cambodia is marked as best overall for healthy eating, which combines the obesity and diabetes rankings. However, by combining these scores with their under nutrition and underweight children levels, it’s clear that these numbers actually reflect the scarcity of food there.

Saudi Arabia ranks the worst in this category, because 18 percent of the population is diabetic, while one third are obese. For obesity alone, the U.S. is tied with Saudia Arabia as second worst, as one third of the population there is also obese.

In short, our world’s food system is far from ideal.

"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," Oxfam’s Mark Lawson told NPR.

What do you think of the results of this report? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor

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