In a new global survey, researchers found when it comes to having the healthiest packaged foods and drinks, the UK tops the charts, with the USA in 2nd place and Australia coming in at 3rd.
The research was conducted by a team from the George Institute for Global Health.
The team analyzed more than 400,000 food and drink products from 12 countries and territories around the world.
The survey highlights the high levels of sugar, saturated fat, salt, and calories/kJ in many of our favorite food items.
The countries were ranked using Australia’s Health Star Rating system—which measures the levels of the nutrients such as energy, salt, sugar, saturated fat as well as protein, calcium and fiber and assigns a star rating from 1/2 (least healthy) to 5 (the most healthy).
The team found that the UK had the highest average Health Star Rating of 2.83, followed by the US at 2.82 and Australia at 2.81.
India got the lowest rating of just 2.27 followed by China at 2.43 with Chile coming third from bottom at 2.44.
The team says the results were concerning because packaged foods and drinks are driving a double burden of diet-related diseases in many countries.
The results show that some countries are doing a much better job than others.
Unfortunately, it’s the poorer nations that are least able to address the adverse health consequences that have the unhealthiest foods.
The report notes that many of the world’s major food and drink manufacturers have signed up to the International Food and Beverage Alliance and made pledges to reduce levels of salt, sugar and harmful fat and that these findings could provide an impetus for companies to improve the healthiness of their product ranges.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Elizabeth Dunford.
The study is published in Obesity Reviews.
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