Food is a life necessity. We all have to breathe, sleep and eat, yet food is much more than just a survival act. Around the world there are different patterns of eating and it is an important part of the culture. There are special national and regional dishes, table manners, various meals through out the day, also the range of diversity of vegetables, fruit and meat, etc.

I was interested, based on the discussion in the class, to compare diets along the continents and see the correlation between the cultures and food patterns. In my research, I found a very inspiring article from The Time, entitled ‘What the World Eats.’ It does not only show what kind of food is available in different parts of the world, but also what is the food expenditure per family and favorite dishes in represented countries. You can see how diverse the world of food is:

Family food expenditures around the world

United States: The Revis family – 2 adults, 2 teenagers | Food expenditure for one week: $341.98

Poland: The Sobczynscy family  – 4 adults, 1 teenager | Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

Bhutan: The Namgay family – 7 adults, 6 kids | Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

After researching different diets from around the world, I also wanted to check what countries have the healthiest one. The results are shown in a article by Forbes. It depicts where people eat healthiest and also the obesity rate and life expectancy, two factors which are very much related to our everyday diet. Based on these elements, Japanese are considered to be the healthiest of the people (it is interesting to see that next places belong to other Asian nations, Singapore and China. In the top 10 there are only Asian and European countries, Sweden is number four).

Japan | Obesity rate: 1.5% | Life expectancy: 82 years

Pasternak praises Japanese cuisine for its focus on cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, bok choy and kale. The main sources of protein in the Japanese diet–fish and soy–are also heart healthy. Finally, the Japanese eat plenty of complex carbohydrates in the form of nutrient-rich buckwheat noodles. Some Japanese practice calorie restriction, eating only until they feel 80% full.

You can see the full results in a slideshow. It relates back to the diversity of food and healthy choices we all should and can make:

The World’s Healthiest Diets

– Kasia (Katarzyna) Dybek

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7 responses »

  1. April White says:

    It’s crazy the amount of money we spend on food in the US and majority of it isn’t even healthy for us. The Revis family from the US is feeding one less person compared to the Namgay family from Bhutan and yet they spend almost double. Looking closer at the food around then the US family you see all the major fast food companies like McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, and taco bell. They have pizza, chips, beer, 7 up, and ramen noodles. The only healthy food I can make out are the couple of gallons of milk, some graps, and a couple tomates majority of everything else is processed and has tons of different chemicals and dyes in them. It is depressing the food an average family in America consumes. No wonder are one of the most obese nations.

  2. Danielle Burke says:

    I think it’s crazy by even just these couple of images you can tell how unhealthily the average american family eat in comparison to family’s in other countries the teenagers are each sitting there eating their own pizzas and the mom is next to stacks of packaged processed foods. Then you look at the family in the last image and they’re surrounded by naturally, colorful foods with no packaging at all. And then look at the amounts that are being spent financially! American’s are spending way more money for crap than the other families are to feed more than double the american family size for like a third of the cost.

  3. Maggie Lee says:

    I can’t believe the first family spends over $300 dollars in food. All you see in the photo is packaging. In comparison to the family from Bhutan, there are only homegrown fruits and vegetables. They only have to spend $5 each week because they grow all of their own food! We could learn a lesson or two from that family.

  4. Bianca Pol says:

    This is kind of gross and terrifying.

  5. So we Americans spend our time and money marketing the fuck out of our resources so where spending more money on less shit while the rest of the world is making sure they are eating the right kind of food and everyone can have it I’m so ashamed.

  6. Elaine Wu says:

    Japanese people seem to eat a lot of things that are naturally grown and harvested, which leads to cheaper and healthier food, while people from other countries, especially those that live in America, tend to eat food that has been processed and changed from it’s natural form. I’m wondering if maybe that’s why it’s unhealthier and more expensive for us living here.

  7. Daniel Hanks says:

    Kasia, I think the amount of research that you seem to have put in this, made it an extremely interesting article. It’s really nice that you can see a picture of all the families with what they actually consume over the period of a week.

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