Results from a new study have concluded that Britain has the unhealthiest diet in Europe. According to the data, ultra-processed junk food is the reason behind Britain’s unhealthy eating habits. Eating large amounts of these foods will lead to an increased risk of obesity, heart attacks and stroked. Food like crisps, chicken nuggets and ready meals make up half of the meals consumed in the average household. These foods don’t contain many fresh ingredients or much nutritional value.
Britain has Seriously Unhealthy Eating Habits
The study examined the diets of 19 European countries and found that Britain’s consumption of ultra-processed food is five times higher than Portugal and four times greater than France, Greece and Italy. Following Britain, Germany and Ireland were the next largest consumers of processed food; making up around 46% of the average diet.
The study was led by Professor Carlos Monteiro of Sau Paulo University, Brazil. He emphasised that Britain’s current diet “posed a serious problem” for the entire nation. Increasing levels of obesity are a concern, therefore he has urged governments need to act to increase the consumption of food that involves little or no processing. Additionally, Professor Monteiro outlined that ultra-processed foods needed to be made less available and affordable to act as a deterrent.
The study showed a direct, correlation between the amount of ultra-processed food Britons consume and the high levels of severe obesity. Simply increasing the intake of such foods by only 1% increases the risk of obesity by 0.25%, thus the connection between ultra-processed foods and obesity explains why Britain is by far the unhealthiest nation out of 19 European countries.
Ultra-Processed Food is Making Britain Unhealthy
Ultra-processed food contains high levels of saturated fat, salt and sugar. Consuming too much of these substances can lead to health complications like heart attack, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Food items such as sweets and sugary drinks can still be consumed but in moderation rather then being diet staples. A well-balanced diet should consist of fruit, vegetables, whole-grains, lean meat, fish, beans and pulses with occasional like chocolate.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t reflect in the average diet in Britain. The components of a balanced diet only make up 28.6% of the average UK diet, whereas ultra-processed food make up at least another 10%.