The average global consumer purchases 765 calories each day through packaged food and soft drinks, new data from market research firm Euromonitor showed this week.
Assuming that individuals are consuming these food and drink purchases, 765 calories is nearly half of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recommended 2,000 calorie daily intake. Seeing as the majority of packaged food and soft drinks overwhelmingly fall into the category of junk food due to their high levels of fat, sugar, and salt, the data does not bode well for global health.
More than 2.1 billion people across the world are overweight or obese, with nearly 30 percent of the global population at risk for life-threatening illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and heart problems, according to The World Health Organization. This kind of statistics has pushed government officials to prioritize healthy eating; American lawmakers are currently pushing for warning labels on sugary drinks, similar to those on cigarette packets.
Despite such efforts, Euromonitor only predicts things will get worse.
"Our nutrition data shows that by 2019, the world will purchase 90 calories more a day," said Lauren Bandy, nutrition analyst at the market research firm.
North American and Western European countries purchase over 1,500 calories daily, Euromonitor said, much higher than their Asian peers. Chinese consumers purchase 510 calories per day while India's figure comes to 150 calories.
"Germany buys nearly twice as much fat per capita per day than Japan, and France purchases more calories from bread each day than India does from packaged food and soft drinks combined," the report said.
Mexico tops Euromonitor's list at 1928 calories per person, 380 calories more than their American neighbors, roughly equivalent to a slice of pizza.
In 2013, Latin America's second-largest economy took the title of most obese nation from the U.S. with nearly 40 percent of its population classified as obese, the United Nations said.
By understanding how packaged food and soft drinks contribute to the total purchase of food, Bandy hopes countries will be better able to address the rising concern of nutritional value.