India has been ranked most unhealthy country when it comes to consuming packaged foods and drinks, as per a global survey.
Published in the journal Obesity Reviews, the survey ranked India lowest among 12 countries. The UK was placed at top position while the US and Australia were ranked at number two and three positions respectively.
The conclusion was drawn after the researchers analysed more than 400,000 food and drink products from 12 countries and territories around the world.
The survey highlights the high levels of sugar, saturated fat, salt and calories/kJ in several of Indian food items.
“Our results show that some countries are doing a much better job than others. Unfortunately, it’s the poorer nations that are least able to address the adverse health consequences that have the unhealthiest foods,” said study lead author Elizabeth Dunford from the George Institute for Global Health.
“Billions of people are now exposed to very unhealthy foods on a daily basis. The obesity crisis is just the first ripple of a tsunami of dietary ill health that is coming for us,” she added.
The countries were ranked using Australia’s Health Star Rating system which measures the levels of the nutrients such as energy, salt, sugar, saturated fat as well as protein, calcium and fibre and assigns a star rating from half — least healthy to five — the most healthy.
The UK had the highest average Health Star Rating of 2.83, while the US and Australia had 2.83 and 2.81 respectively. With 2.27 rating India was at the bottom.