Iceland, Australia, most western European and all Scandinavian countries all scored well above the United States, which barely edged out Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Israel, and New Zealand.
Oxfam's in-depth survey, taken from October through December 2013, tallied data on food reality worldwide using four categories. The U.S. ranked admirably in two categories, average in one, but fared shamefully low in one...
Afford to Eat, or the price and price volatility of food - U.S. ranked 1st overall in food affordability, mainly because food prices nationally are extremely stable and relatively inexpensive.
Food Quality, or the availability of clean water and nutritious foods - U.S. ranked 4th overall in this category, despite ranking a painful 41st in access to clean drinking water.
Enough to Eat, or hunger within the country - U.S. ranked 35th overall among 125 nations. Although few U.S. children were underweight due to lack of food, many are malnourished.
Unhealthy Eating, or frequent consumption of non-nutritious foods - U.S. ranked 120th among 125 nations, indicating that U.S. eating habits are causing obesity and diabetes among Americans.
These shocking results shout that most Americans have access to both healthy and unhealthy foods, and are choosing unhealthy foods for both adults and children.
The U.S. is ranked the fattest and most diabetic nation among all major countries. The U.S. populace ranks as healthier only than Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Mexico, Fiji, and Jordan. in obesity and diabetes, two lethal health conditions.
Critics firmly believe that American health has plunged radically in recent decades due to the extreme prevalence in the food supply of fast and casual foods larded heavily with salt, fat, and sugar, and of industrial-manufactured "fake foods" riddled with salt, fat, sugar, chemicals, additives, fillers, and artificial flavors and colors.
(Click here for "Salt Sugar Fat" - Stunning Big Food Tactics to Hook, Trick, Harm Americans.)
Why do Americans have extremely easy access (and thus, temptation) to unhealthy foods, especially when compared to the other 124 nations?
One main reason: lack of political will in Washington D.C. to stand-up to corporate political donors and lobbyists in order to bring the U.S. food supply up to international standards by mandating...
- Manufacturers to offer a higher percentage of food products with more nutritious and better quality ingredients
- Restaurants and fast food purveyors to eliminate and/or minimize purposely addictive levels of salt, fat, and sugar
- Markets across the country to prominently display and emphasize a plethora of fresh, healthy products, rather than continue to exclusively push industrial-made chips, cookies, candy, ice creams, cereals, crackers, hot dogs, baked goods, frozen fare, etc, etc etc.
Congress, are you listening? USDA and FDA leaders, are you there? Are you working for the health of our nation, or for mega-corporate interests and your donors and political patrons?
Before answering that query, remember the warning of famed British historian and Oxford professor Arnold J. Toynbee (1889 - 1975) who observed and believed that the health of a nation is only as good as the health of its diet, and that a downward spiral in the quality of a nation's diet foretold a nation's cultural and political death spiral.
If unchecked, this U.S. tumble in Oxfam's data-driven survey of healthy diets around the world will be more than an embarrassment. This terrible tumble could be warning of a permanent downward spiral of our nation.