I am a creature fairly obsessed with both food and statistics – therefore I zeroed in on this table from the World Health Organisation:
Global and regional per capita food consumption (kcal per capita per day)
|Region||1974 – 76||1984 – 86||1997 – 99||2015||2030|
|Near East, North Africa||2591||2953||3006||3090||3170|
|Latin America, Caribbean||2546||2689||2824||2980||3140|
South Asia’s eating more
Whew! In the seventies people in South Asian countries like India were consuming just 1,986 calories per day (reasonable enough, for an active human being) but by the late nineties it increased by over 20 % and this growth is expected to continue. By 2030, India is expected to notch up another 20% growth over the 1999 figures.
I remember that way back in the seventies and eighties, one never even saw that much food around. There were far fewer restaurants and as for eating at street corners – it was frowned upon. Today, all this has changed. Eating out is in.
Developed countries are stuffing themselves up too
The increase in food consumption in the developed countries is fairly high too – as much as 10%. Their base being higher, the increase is lower…but they too are stuffing themselves up.
And just look at those East Asian countries. An increase of 38% in the twenty year period from the seventies to the nineties! Their prosperity is showing.
Will the tide ever be stemmed?
Thankfully, the statistics do show a falling off. In the developed countries the food consumption per capita is supposed to increase by barely 5% by 2030. The increase in consumption levels of the East Asian countries is also expected to fall to 10 per cent. So food consumption levels don’t increase that much as humans near the 3000 calorie mark…but what’s worrying is that they still increase.
Are we ever going to be satiated?
It doesn’t look like it. We are all going to get bigger and fatter. Worse, we are heading for a situation where we will suffer from more diseases than we ever did, many of which will be caused by the food itself.
Note: I have clubbed India under the category of ‘South Asia’ and not ‘Developing Countries’ although it falls under both categories. I felt the lower calorie consumption for South Asia fitted India better due to the widespread poverty here.
This post is also available on my blog.