UK Packaged Food And Beverages Are The Healthiest

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 | 2263 Views

The UK has topped a study for having the healthiest packaged food and beverages, according to the Georg Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford.

More than 400,000 food and beverage products from 12 countries were analysed and ranked using Australia’s Health Star Rating system. Levels of nutrients such as energy, salt, sugar, saturated fat, protein, calcium and fibre were measured before being assigned a star rating from 0.5 (least healthy) to five (most healthy).

According to this study, the UK achieved highest average star rating (2.83), followed by US (2.82) and Australia (2.81). While India received the lowest ratings (2.27), followed by China (2.43). The overall amount of sugar found in packaged items of British food was less than half the 8.3 g per 100 g in China.

With increase consumption of processed food, lead author Dr Elizabeth Dunford addresses the concerning results.

“Globally, we’re all eating more and more processed foods and that’s a concern because our supermarket shelves are full of products that are high in bad fats, sugar and salt, and are potentially making us sick. Our 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,” said Dr Dunford.

Co-author Professor, Bruce Neal, Acting Executive Director of The George Institute raises his concerns regarding the obesity epidemic as packaged foods are dominating the world’s food supply.

“Billions of people are now exposed to very unhealthy foods on a daily basis. The obesity crisis is just the first ripple of a tsunami of dietary ill health that is coming for us. We have to find a way that the food industry can profit from selling rational quantities of quality food, rather than deluging us with unhealthy junk. There are few greater priorities for human health,” said Prof Neal.

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.

Further reading:

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