ReportLinker released a new report on eating habits, overweightness and obesity in developed countries to answer the following questions:
- Does living in a developed nation mean being more self-conscious about what you eat?
- Sugar, meat, vegetables, which ones are people buying more?
- Is obesity and overweightness approaching epidemic proportions?
Meat, Fruits and Veggies, what are the numbers?
In the UK for example, veganism has become a trend (7% say they’re vegan), and so has the “low sugar” diet. Since the 70’s, the weekly consumption of sugar per person has been divided by almost 7, going from 422 grams consumed by week in 1977, to 74 grams in 2015.Eating meat, especially red meat such as steak, is now often demonised by the media, academia, and the public at large. But obesity remains an enormous (no pun intended) and pervasive health problem in developed nations where there are trends favoring plant-based, low fat, and low sugar diets.
In the steaks-and-burgers-loving US, red meat consumption has trended downward since its peak of 198 pounds per capita per year in 1971, with a similar trendline in North American neighbor Canada.
The United States saw a raise of 16.27% in vegetables consumption during the last 46 years.
Meanwhile, fruit consumption in the US has declined sharply since its mid-1990s peak, and sugar consumption has fallen through the floor since 1978 (although it has been replaced by high fructose corn syrup consumption). Since the 1940s, per capita butter consumption in the US has fallen through the floor too going from 18 pounds consumed per person and per year in 1931 , to an average of 4 pounds since the 80’s.In the wake the of upward trends in plant-based (even vegetarian and vegan) dietary patterns, the global soy products consumption for getting needed protein is up dramatically since the turn of the 21st century, and the soybean growing industry has grown dramatically, too. Forecasts for both have them growing sharply through 2022. Because of their flavor, texture, and low cost, soybean products are very often used as replacements for red meat in the diet.What impact on everyone weight?
Nevertheless, obesity is now an epidemic in developed nations including the US and the UK, so much so that “plus-sized persons” are now specially catered to in marketing and advertising. Socially, pointing out that someone really ought to lose weight has become labeled as “body-shaming”, and the person pointing it out becomes the socially “shamed” one.
Through 2016, almost 70% of US adults were considered to be overweight, way up from just 41% in 1974.Prevalence of obese adult males in the US has gone through the ceiling since the mid-1970s going from 10% of males being obese in 1975, to 35% in 2016.
The same trendline is true for European Union nations, numbers went from 39% in 1975 to 59% in the same period.If people in developed nations are supposedly eating smarter, healthier diets now in contrast to 40 years ago, we shouldn’t be seeing these upward trends in obesity and “plus-sized” individuals.
So, what’s going on here?
For one thing, critics of the “plant-based” dietary trends, especially veganism, say that meat isn’t inherently bad for you, which is why it smells and tastes so good to us. There’s a growing counterpoint trend of positive results from eating a “carnivore” diet consisting of almost nothing but meat (including fish), in fact. Critics of vegans’ hatred of eating meat and dairy say that the truly unhealthy meat is corn-fed, rather than grass-fed, beef (and farmed rather than wild-caught fish). Cattle aren’t supposed to eat corn, but Industrial Age farmers started feeding it to them because they got fatter, and got so faster, and nobody knew any better (some people even thought this corn-fed beef tasted better). But this makes the cattle sick, and eating “sick beef” isn’t going to help humans get fitter and leaner. (Corn isn’t healthy for human beings, either.)
Critics of modern plant-based dietary trends are quick to point out evidence that low-fat diets also aren’t healthier for you. In recent times, eating butter and drinking whole milk have been vindicated by health science. And hey, let’s face it: they taste better than their alternatives, too.
But critics of modern plant-based dietary trends are perhaps most scathing in their diatribes about soy. They point out that soy is ubiquitous in modern diets because soybeans are easy and cheap to grow, and they grow quickly.
Finally, a major part of the obesity epidemic may be something that’s found not only in fast food restaurants but also in the common household pantry: vegetable oils. Vegetable oils were thought to be healthier than butter for cooking, but that notion may have to be reversed too.