Netherlands ranks tops in the world for food, U.S., Japan tie for 21

Jan. 18, 2014 at 5:32 PM
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BOSTON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The Netherlands ranked No. 1 in the world for plentiful, nutritious, healthy and affordable food, while the United States tied for 21st with Japan, Oxfam says.

Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, said its index looks at four core concerns for consumers in 125 countries:

-- Do people have enough to eat? Measured by levels of undernourishment and underweight children.

-- Can people afford to eat? Measured by food price levels compared to other goods and services and food price volatility.

-- Is food of good quality? Measured by diet diversification and access to clean and safe water.

-- What are the health outcomes of people's diet? Measured by diabetes and obesity.

France and Switzerland tied for second. European countries occupy the entire top 20 of the ranking.

The United States has the most affordable food on the planet and a high rank on food quality, but extreme levels of obesity and diabetes leave the nation ranked 120th when it comes to healthy eating.

African countries, along with Laos, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, occupy the bottom 30 places in the index.

The countries whose citizens struggle for enough food -- with the worst rates of malnourishment and underweight children -- are Burundi, Yemen, Madagascar and India.

Iceland scores a perfect mark for the quality of its food, in terms of nutritional diversity and safe water. But Iceland's obesity and diabetes levels push it down to 13th spot overall.

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