INDEX - HEALTH ID# 0810-02



POSTED: 8 FEBRUARY 2008 1:30pm HST

Food Consumption Around the World

by Juan Wilson on 8 February 2008

The images in this article came from a book titled "The Hungry Planet" by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Auisio published in 2005. More of Peter's work can be found at

Some of the photogrphs in the selected images were posted on Time Magazine onlne, in an article titled "What the World Eats, Part I"

Michaella Mintcheff emailed the images after sorting them in decending order of food cost.

In each photo is a family as seen in the room that they eat. In front of them is the food they consumed in one week. Attached to each image is the family's name, where they live and how much money they spent on the food (converted to dollars).

In the industrialized countries of Germany, USA and Japan food cost the most (between $300 and $500 a week). Note the large percentage of packaged food and beverages. The Germans had the most bottled drinks, the Americans the most "junk food" and the Japanese the most preserved packaged food. These certainly were not the best diets.

On the low end only the family in Chad seemed under nourished. They spent $1.23 and hardly had a vegetable. Looks like mostly grains and dried peas.

In the middle there were better diets overall. But even in Italy and Mexico were a lot of bottled carbonated corn syrup sodas ($190 - $260 a week).

The best diets look to be in Poland ($151), Egypt ($68), Equador ($31) and Bhutan ($5). The sweet spot for nutrition seems to be those that spent between $5-$70 a week. The diets have variety, with lots of fresh vegetables, and a small quantity of processed and pre-packaged products. Probably the food did not have to travel far to get to the table either.


image above: Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide. Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

image above: United States: The Revis family of North Carolina. Food expenditure for one week: $341.98

image above: Japan : The Ukita family of Kodaira City. Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25

image above: Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily. Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

image above: Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca. Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

image above: Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorn. Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

image above: Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo. Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

image above: Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo. Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

image above: Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village. Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

image above: Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp. Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

see also:
Island Breath: It's a MacWorld After All 12/10/05
Island Breath: Locovores - The 100 Mile Diet 4/26/07