How American Nutrition Compares to Other First-World Countries

While America is one of the wealthier countries, it is also known to be one of the most unhealthy. There are various reasons for this, including lack of nutritional education, physical activity, and access to overprocessed foods. So how does the typical American diet contrast to other diets of the world? Let’s dive into what makes American nutrition fall to the bottom of the list when it comes to nutrition.


American staples such as ice cream, sodas, and fun colored cereals are only a few examples of foods that are filled with unhealthy additives. Some products you will find on the selves in the U.S are entirely banned in other countries due to their ingredients. Brominated vegetable oil causes concern due to irritation to the skin and mucous membranes. In worse cases, it has been linked to memory loss and impaired coordination. Bromine is often used in sodas to prevent flavoring from separating during distribution, and is banned in most countries. Potassium Bromate is often used to strengthen dough in baked goods, helping it rise higher. Potassium bromate is classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, meaning it can increase risks of developing cancerous cells in the body. This ingredient is banned in the European Union, Canada, China, and South Korea, but remains legal for use in the United States. While some states limit the use of these harmful ingredients, it is crucial to read food labels before consuming store bought products in America and to incorporate moderation in your choices.

Portion Sizes

Compared to Europe, everything in America is typically larger. This includes motor vehicles, highways, and food portions. American portions in comparison to other countries are substantially larger, and consist of far more calories. America values quantity over quality, and food chains harp on theories such as, “bigger is better”. Fast food restaurants offer incentives in hopes that customers will “super-size” their meal, causing Americans to believe they are receiving a better deal. Establishments make a higher profit with the more food they sell, despite the excessive waste many Americans dispose of. The cost of food plays a role in American portions, given that factory made foods are extremely cheap while produce is very expensive. Ingredients to serve fried and fatty foods are more affordable for restaurants, so providing large enough portions for a to-go box is more possible. 

America has become well known for their high obesity rate and lack of nutritional values. While this might be the case, take it upon yourself to raise your standards and become aware of what you put into your body, no matter where you’re from. Everyone is responsible for their own dietary decisions, so educate and prepare yourself for a cleaner lifestyle. 

Interested in learning more about nutrition and how to change your eating habits? Our professionals are ready to assist. Contact Your Lean Life today!