Diets worldwide only slightly healthier than 30 years ago


They concluded that dietary recommendations should be based on localized nutrition data. Data shows that poor diets are responsible for around 26%Trusted Source of global preventable mortality.

Existing evidence suggests that different foods and nutrients have synergistic and complementary effects when consumed together.

While what makes up an optimal dietary pattern is largely well-establishedTrusted Source and validated, how common it is globally consumed remains unclear. Previous studies have been limited to small subsetsTrusted Source of countries and typically did not includeTrusted Source those under 25 years old.

Studies investigating various countries’ dietary patterns across a wider age range could improve dietary guidelines and recommendations.

Recently, researchers analyzed global, regional, and national dietary patterns and trends among adults and children from 185 counties.

They found that between 1990 and 2018, diets became slightly healthier, although the extent of this varied by country. “In general, healthy diets have become more affordable as countries have become richer,” Dr. Boyd Swinburn, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Aukland, not involved in the study, told Medical News Today.“Also, the globali zation of food means that the variety of whole foods has increased, which is good. But the countervailing forces of ultra-processed foods taking over from whole foods and the widening wealth inequalities are creating unhealthier diets,” Dr. Swinburn added. The study appears in Nature FoodTrusted Source. Global dietary data analysis The re searchers collated data from nationally and subnationally-representative surveys on individual-level dietary intake alongside biomarker surveys.

Altogether, they compiled data from 1,248 dietary surveys from 188 countries. Among the surveys, 73.9% included data on children ages 0- 19 and 64.5% from adults ages 20 or over.

The researchers obtained data on individual-level dietary intake of up to 53 foods, beverages, and nutrients alongside demographic data, including age, sex, education, and urban or rural residence. The researchers used the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) to define a healthy diet. Victoria Miller, Ph.D., a research fellow at the PHRI Population Health Research Institute and Visiting Scientist at Tufts University, one of the study’s authors, told MNT:


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