What happens to cuisines when cultures change, or when culture becomes globalized? Naturally, so do our diets—and our health. Food research by the U.S. military, particularly during and after World War II, led to the creation of consumer products that could also be used as wartime rations, which meant heavy processing. And one consequence of the Allied victory is that the world has largely adopted America’s processed-food diet, which is a key factor for the obesity crisis the world now faces, with around 13 percent of the world’s adult population considered to be obese in 2016. According to the 2020 Global Nutrition Report, while malnutrition is the leading cause of death worldwide, this crisis is worsened by obesity, which remains three times more common than hunger.
The Worst Diet in the World
The American diet, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global nonprofit research organization, is the worst in the world in terms of overconsumption and waste. This conclusion was drawn from an ongoing study conducted by the Institute, which found that the average American diet contained almost 500 more calories than the global average. This information is backed up by the fact that over one-third of American adults and one in every five children in the country are obese, according to government data from 2015-2016. And it’s going to get worse: A December 2019 Harvard study predicts that half of American adults will be obese, with a quarter suffering from severe obesity, by the end of the decade. For the most part, this health crisis is due to eating meat and sugar.
Excerpted from Nation of Change