Nations with the Most Food May Lack the Healthiest Diets

Study finds abundant food doesn’t mean a healthy diet

Food-secure nations may not be as health oriented as you might think.

Nations with the most abundant food supplies don’t necessarily have the healthiest diets, according to a recent study of international food security by Economist Intelligence Unit. The study on global food security found that the top food-secure countries that have abundant food supplies, the United States, Denmark, Norway, France, and the Netherlands, didn’t come in first place when it came to the quality and safety of their food.

The list of food-secure countries is based on the abundance of the nation’s food supplies, income, and investment in agricultural research and development.

The study found that even with a high food security score, countries in the top tier aren’t making the cut when it comes to food health and safety. Germany, which was found to be the 10th most food-secure nation, ranks 43rd when it comes to micronutrients, or basic vitamins and minerals.

Of the top 10 countries of the index, only France is also listed in the top 10 for micronutrient availability, according to the study. So even the countries that have greater food security don’t measure up when it comes to providing vitamins and minerals for their people.

Four African countries, Madagascar, Burundi, Chad, and the Congo, and Haiti landed in the last five spots on the list. The Congo was found to be the most food-impoverished country due to 20.4 percent of the population living under the poverty line, a lack of food safety net programs, and access to financing for farmers, according to the study.

Although Sub-Saharan African countries ranked in the lower third of the overall index, rising incomes could allow some of the countries to address their food insecurity.

Sean Flynn is a Junior Writer for The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @BuffaloFlynn