A group of researchers surveyed as many as 190 countries regarding their food habits. Surprisingly, the results show that most of the people across the world are more dependent on junk food than healthy alternatives like fruits and vegetables. Although globalization has made healthier options more easily available across the world, people’s preferences continue to remain biased towards unhealthier food.

Researchers exploited data available from self-reported diet studies for the time frame 1990 to 2010. They focused on 17 the reactions of people over 17 common edible items, which included both foods and drinks. They also checked people’s consumption of nutrients from vegetables, fruits and fish. Apart from this, the research also involved understanding people’s preferences for unhealthy alternatives that contain sugary drinks, processed meat and salts.

junk food

The findings of the study claim that although people do consume healthy food such as fish and whole grains, there has been increased consumption of unhealthy food in recent years. Some of the major conclusions obtained from the study are that older people ate healthier than the younger generation. Also, women eat healthier than men.

The research also highlighted that countries like the Caribbean, Latin America and Mongolia displayed the best nutritional improvements over the period. On the other hand, it urged for an immediate need of cutting down junk food in the Dominican Republic, Armenia and Bosnia. In the U.S., however, there was an increase in both healthy as well as unhealthy food consumption. Apart from this, some Asian and African countries failed to show any signs of diet improvements in the last 20years. Researchers also warned of an increasing trend toward the consumption of unhealthy food in India and China.

The study was a part of a research on obesity and was funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation collaboratively with Britain’s Medical Research Council. The results were published in Lancet Global Health Journal.

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