World’s biggest eaters REVEALED: DailyMail.com’s interactive map ranks 184 countries based on average calories consumed per person each day (so, can you guess which nation wolfs down 4,000 kcals daily?)
- Researchers at Oxford University ranked 184 countries by calorie consumption
- US came 2nd overall, while the UK ranked at 26th position in the tally
- READ MORE: Global diabetes rates to soar to 1.3billion by 2050, experts warn
America is known for its big portion sizes and even bigger obesity problem — and this map reveals why.
People in the US consume an average of 3,868 calories per day, the second-highest number of any country in the world.
It is eclipsed only by Bahrain, in the Middle East, where people consumed more than 4,000 calories per day on average.
That’s according to research by Oxford University-based OurWorldInData, which compiled figures on calorie consumption by country from the United Nations.
The UK ranked 26th overall, with the average person making their way through 3,422 calories every 24 hours.
Out of the 184 countries surveyed for the study, 173 consumed more than 2,000 calories per day — or above the recommended daily average for both sexes.
Researchers warn over-consumption is driving up obesity — with 1billion people now obese compared to 175million in the 1970s — and fuelling associated health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s.
Top of the list was Bahrain, a tiny but wealthy island nation off the coast of the Arabian peninsula.
Four in ten adults in the country are obese, data shows, which has been linked to more sedentary lifestyles and increased consumption of fast food.
Global diabetes rates to soar from 529 million to 1.3 billion by 2050…
The explosion in cases — more than double the 529million now — will be largely driven by the world’s ever-expanding waistline.
Rounding out the top five countries for calorie consumption was Ireland, with 3,850 calories per day, Belgium, at 3,824, and Turkey, at 3,762.
The data compiled by OurWorldInData — an information platform run by Oxford University — was from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The data was based on the total food bought per household on average for each country and does not necessarily mean calories consumed. For example, it does not account for wastage.
But calorie consumption has been rising for decades globally amid the advent of ready meals, fast food and more processed foods becoming available.
While foods are becoming more calorie dense, researchers have warned that they are also becoming more nutrient-deficient.
Some experts say this is leading to a vicious cycle where the human body drives people to eat more in an attempt to get hold of vital nutrients.
But, as a result, this leads many to consume extra calories that they do not burn off.
The overconsumption epidemic has also been linked to poor sleep, driven by 24-hour lifestyles, the constant presence of electric light and stressful lifestyles.
Studies show that when someone is underslept their appetite is not as well regulated and, as a result, is more likely to lead to overconsumption. They are also more likely to eat sugar-rich foods than those who are well-rested.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that people should consume about 2,000 calories per day on average.
The UK’s public health service, the NHS, says women should eat about 2,000 calories a day but men should consume 2,500.
Share of the world population that is obese from 1975 to 2016, according to OurWorldInData
At the other end of the scale, the Central African Republic had the lowest calorie consumption in the world — at 1,641 per person per day.
It was followed by Burundi (16,96), Madagascar (1,770), Zimbabwe (1,853) and Yemen (1,957).
All these countries have faced prolonged political strife which has impacted the economy and, as a result, their national food supplies.
The Central African Republic, which came bottom of the list, has been experiencing a civil war since 2012 which has now forced 1.1million people — or a fifth of the country’s population — to flee their homes.
The current Government, under President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, has been relying on Russia’s Wagner Group to maintain its authority.
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