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A major sign of a nation's overall wellbeing is the diet of its population

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The Netherlands has comparatively low food prices, low diabetes levels and better nutritional diversity than its European rivals.  Furthermore, it places strong emphasis on the relevance of vegetables and dairy products.

Other countries with a high rating include: France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal.

Saudi Arabia is a low scoring country when it comes to healthy eating, ranking the worst for its high prevalence of diabetes -- a staggering 18% of the population is diabetic. A third of the population is also considered obese.

France’s diet has long been regarded as a model for health and the French are renowned for small portions and well-balanced meals. Only 6.8% of people in France have diabetes, and 18.2% are considered obese. In Switzerland just 24% of the average diet is composed of carbohydrate heavy foods and 17.5% of the population is obese.

The Italians eat a Mediterranean diet that is rich in Olive Oil (Omega 3s) and fish.  Italy is known for carbohydrate rich foods like pizza and pasta, but only 33% of the average Italian diet comes from carbohydrate heavy foods. The Greeks also live on a balanced Mediterranean diet of olive oil and fish. Nevertheless despite the prevalence of a very healthy Mediterranean diet, 20.1% of the Greek population are obese and 10.8% have diabetes.

The Spanish diet although again mainly Mediterranean - 26.6% of Spaniards are obese, and 11.3% have diabetes. America - 33% of the U.S. population is obese, and 12.3% have diabetes. Israel - 4% of the population is undernourished, while 26.9% are obese.

The Japanese eat very well and have plenty of fish and seaweed that is high in iodine, drink a lot of green tea, eat plenty of vegetables, and consume small portions. Japan also has an extremely low obesity rate at 5%, and 7.7% of the population has diabetes, which is reasonably low compared to other countries. Finland 3% of their population is obese, and 10.3% are currently living with diabetes.

Why is the UK the capital of obesity in Europe?
The UK has higher levels of obesity and overweight people than any other country in Europe and one in four adults in the UK are obese. Obesity levels are currently more than three times what they were in 1980, when only 6% of men and 8% of women were obese. Presently, just over eight per cent of females in the UK aged under 20 are obese while 29.2 per cent are overweight.

Obesity is the biggest public health crisis facing the UK
Obesity levels in the UK have more than trebled in the last 30 years and, on current estimates, more than half the population could be obese by 2050.  Why? change in lifestyle, people glued to their computers and the internet, as well as children playing computer games, increased travel by car, convenience foods and lack of overall exercise are contributing factors. 

Sadly the UK has become an “obese society” where being overweight is accepted and regarded as normal but the consequences of neglecting one’s diet can cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The ‘obesity’ epidemic means that people are dying needlessly from avoidable diseases. Self-discipline is lacking and the levels of obesity in the UK - and indeed, across the world - are of great concern.