I came across an excellent article in the Guardian (February 2, 2018): “The study of 19 European countries is published this month in a special issue of the journal Public Health Nutrition. It shows that UK families buy more ultra-processed food than any others in Europe, amounting to 50.7% of the diet. Germany comes second, at 46.2% and then Ireland on 45.9%. “
“Ultra-processed food is made in a factory with industrial ingredients and additives invented by food technologists and bearing little resemblance to the fruit, vegetables, meat or fish used to cook a fresh meal at home.”
The Guardian includes a graphic of European countries’ processed food consumption. It confirms that the Mediterranean countries, like Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, and Greece have a low intake of ultra-processed food ranging from 10-20%.
The health implications of eating ultra-processed food are well documented: obesity, diabetes, heart disease to name a few.
Let’s hope these Mediterranean countries can maintain their eating habits and don’t succumb to the general and worldwide trend of eating industrialized food. The signs are not promising.