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Netherlands Named Number 1 for World’s Best Place for Healthy Eating

Update Date: Jan 16, 2014 11:18 AM EST

The Netherlands has been named the world's best place for healthy eating by Oxfam, an advocacy group. Oxfam is an international team composed of 17 organizations that work to improve people's quality of life in over 90 countries. In their most recent project, the researchers listed the best places for healthy eating.

According to the researchers, people from the Netherlands have the easiest time finding and eating a balanced and nutritious diet. Following the Netherlands were France and Switzerland. As the list continued to grow, more and more European countries took top spots with Denmark named the third best nation for healthy eating out of the 125 ranked countries. The countries that were named after Denmark were Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Ireland and Italy.

Moving further down the list, the United States finally showed up at number 21, tied with Japan. The researchers placed Yemen, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Angola and Chad as the bottom five countries for healthy eating.

For the list, the researchers focused on the availability of fresh produce, nutritious proteins and clean water for everyone. The team also looked at the availability of affordable foods that were less healthy. The researchers analyzed data from eight reports provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Labor Organization. The researchers concluded that overall, the food system on the planet is extremely inefficient.

"Basically, if you arrive from Mars and design a food system, you probably couldn't design a worse one than what we have today on Earth," Oxfam's Max Lawson said reported by NPR. "There is enough food overall in the world to feed everyone. But 900 million people still don't have enough to eat, and 1 billion people are obese. It's a crazy situation."

Lawson added, "Food is very, very cheap in the U.S. compared to most countries. But the fact is you end up with people malnourished in one of the richest countries because they don't have access to fresh vegetables at a cheap enough price to make a balanced diet. People think that hunger is inevitable, but that's just not true. There is enough food in the world to ensure that nobody goes to bed hungry."

The report is available here.

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