Which countries consume the most calories on a daily basis?
Substance abuse and addiction treatment provider Recovery Brands set out to answer this question, using data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Decelopment to analyse caloric intake in countries around the world.
The study analysed calories served per capita from 2004 to 2013. While you might assume it’s US citizens who consume the most calories, it was actually Austria who topped the list with an average of 3,769 calories consumed per day.
While some countries remained neutral on the scale, significant portions of North America and certain countries in Europe hit well above the average. Those countries are in red on the map below.
They also found that residents of countries where a smaller portion of income is spent on food costs are generally served larger amounts of calories each day, usually around 3,500 calories per person. In the US, where 33.3% of men and 35.8% of women are considered obese, one out of every four food calories meant for human consumption ends up going to waste.
Residents of India, on the other hand, consume the least amount of calories — about 2,500 a day on average. Countries where food costs usually make up a larger portion of the monthly budget are less likely to have high obesity rates, the study found.
Recovery Brands also analysed how average daily caloric intake has risen between 1961 and 2011. In some places, people were consuming as much as 500 or 600 more calories in 2011 than they were in 1961.
According to the study, part of the reason for the dramatic increase is that restaurant serving sizes continue to grow, and the number of people eating out continues to rise.
Data compiled from independent and small-chain restaurants showed that the average serving size per meal has grown to be as much as 66% of an adult’s daily recommended caloric intake.
You can find the full study, including its findings on alcohol and tobacco consumption, on Recovery Brands’ website.