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Our diet hasn’t gotten much healthier over the past decades – healing practice

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No significant improvement in diet

Overall, it’s up to us nutrition not significantly healthier today than thirty years ago. This is the conclusion reached by an international research team in a large study in which the eating habits of 185 countries above three decades has been reviewed throughout.

researchers of Tufts University in Massachusetts (USA) analyzed how, in 185 countries, eating habits changed over the past 30 years. Turned out it was worldwide almost no change existed and a majority of people still tend towards a bad eating habits tender. The research results were recently published in the renowned journal “natural food” present.

Global Nutrition Assessment

The diet was assessed on a scale of 0 to 100. A low value corresponds to an unhealthy diet, which translates, for example, into high sugar intaketreaty Meat and ready meals excellent.

A high value represents a balanced diet, consisting mainly of healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grain products compound. The scale is based on the so-called Alternative Healthy Eating Index, which is considered a validated measure of the quality of nutrition.

Minimal improvement in overall nutrition

According to the study, most countries in the world score around 40 points on this scale. Compared to 1990, it was found that eating habits have hardly changed over the past three decades. The global average saw a minimal increase of 1.5 points.

This study is the largest and most comprehensive assessment of food quality worldwide to date and underscores the need to promote healthier diets.

The study also showed that in some countries like the United States, Vietnam and China, the trend towards healthy eating is stronger. In other countries like Japan, Tanzania and Nigeria, on the other hand, the trend has moved away from healthier eating.

Healthy aspects have been negated by unhealthy aspects

“Consumption of legumes, nuts, and non-starchy vegetables increased over time, but overall improvements in diet quality were offset by increased consumption of unhealthy components such as red and processed meats, sugary drinks and sodium”explains the lead author of the study Victoria Miller from McMaster University in Canada.

One in four preventable deaths is due to poor diet

The working group points out that 26% of all preventable deaths are due to poor nutrition. The promotion of healthier diets therefore plays a crucial role in public health.

The countries with the healthiest and most unhealthy diets

Medium the most unhealthy According to the study, people in Brazil, Mexico, Egypt and the United States eat about 30 points. Only ten countries have reached a Value greater than 50, including Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia and India. Of the world average of all countries was 40.3.

Women eat healthier than men

Moreover, it turned out that Women stick to recommended eating habits rather than Men and that the elderly eat healthier on average than young people.

Socioeconomic factors help determine nutrition

“Healthy diets were also influenced by socio-economic factors such as education level and urbanity”adds Miller.

“Globally and in most regions, more educated adults and children of more educated parents generally had higher quality diets”continues the author of the study.

nutrition in children

The quality of nutrition in young children has also been shown to improve overall, throughout adolescence drastically worsened.

“This suggests that early childhood is an important time for intervention strategies aimed at encouraging the development of healthy food preferences.”Miller points out.

Too many unhealthy foods and not healthy enough

“We have found that too few healthy foods and too many unhealthy foods contribute to global challenges in achieving recommended dietary quality”summarizes the head of the study Professor Dariush Mozaffarian from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

“This suggests that policies that encourage and reward healthier eating, for example in health care, employer welfare programs, government nutrition programs and agricultural policies, have a significant impact on improving of nutrition in the United States, the United States and around the world”, comments the professor in conclusion. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.

Author:

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek

Sources:

  • Miller V, Webb P, Cudhea F et al. Global food quality in 185 countries from 1990 to 2018 shows large differences by nation, age, education and urbanity; in: NatureFood (2022), nature.com
  • Tufts University: Globally, diets aren’t much healthier today than they were 30 years ago (posted 9/19/2022), now.tufts.edu

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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