Global Food Consumption [Interactive Infographic]

It should come as no surprise that people in developing countries consume fewer calories than the developed countries of the world. Also unsurprisingly, the income level of inhabitants of developing countries is far lower than in the developed world. However, the disparity of the percent of household income spent on food may surprise you. Food Service Warehouse, a restaurant equipment and supplies web store, put together an interactive display that explores global food consumption and income spent on food.

Click below to check it out:

A visualization of the 20 highest and lowest calorie consuming countries compared with those same countries’ percent of income spent on food. Built by Food Service Warehouse.

After working on a more light-hearted graphic about the world of competitive eating, Food Service Warehouse (FSW) took interest in the average caloric consumption around the world. While no countries are consuming anywhere near the estimated 20,000+ calories that Joey Chestnut ate in a hot dog eating contest, many of the high-consumption countries are well above the average recommended daily amount (according to the FAO, roughly 2,400 calories per day is the average). Conversely, many of the lowest-consuming countries are well below this average amount.

Comparing the average percent of income spent on food with this caloric consumption displays an interesting dichotomy. In the graphic, note that almost all of the 20 poorest countries spend over 50 percent of their income on food, compared to less than 25 percent among richer countries. Comparing the most extreme ends paints a sad picture: The United States averages 3,770 calories consumed per day, while spending just 6.9 percent of their income on food. Angola, consuming only 1,950 calories on average per day, spends 80 percent of income on food.

Some of the other interesting data points include:

  1. Romania is a big outlier for the high-consumption countries, spending almost 35 percent of their income on food.
  2. Fourteen of the 20 lowest-consumption countries are located in Africa.
  3. Not one of the lowest-consumption countries is located in Europe.

So, what can we do to counteract this disparity? Two things, really:

Fight Obesity at Home

The obesity epidemic is spreading quickly, especially in the United States. Obesity leads to heart disease, diabetes, and even death. While it is slowly being addressed, obesity is still the 2nd most common cause of preventable death in the US. Those that are obese, or those in danger of becoming so, should practice portion control and be mindful of caloric intake, in addition to remaining physically active. Additionally, with such a small portion of household income spent on food, there may be room in the budget for families to buy fresher, healthier meals.

Help Stop Global Hunger

Many experts claim we are nearing (or already in) a global food crisis. As a result, millions die hungry in the world, and billions of dollars are spent on aid relief. Those concerned should consider donating to nonprofits that are dedicated to solving world hunger. There are many organizations committed to this worldwide problem, but here are just a few:

At the very least, we hope this has been informative, and that you’ll consider spreading the message to put a stop to world hunger.

39 comments

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Benny Rees
Benny R.3 years ago

Very interesting - thank you for an article.

ii q.
g d c.3 years ago

hmmm

K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

thanks for sharing

heather g.
heather g.4 years ago

There is no doubt that many more people in the middle-classes are drifting ever closer to experiencing poverty, while the number of super-rich around the world has increased in number. There are so many millions of Africans suffering drought. Their corrupt leaders line their pockets and often take care of only a small group of supporters. Investers continue to cream off their resources with mining, logging, oil, etc. There seems to be no end to corruption in today's world and the poorest sector of society bears the highest burden...

gary c.
Gary C.4 years ago

Thankyou....

Jo Asprec
Jo Asprec4 years ago

Thanks for making us aware of the issue. Infographic is not accessible.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson4 years ago

Wow. This is eye-opening. I deal with a lot of different nations and cultures and the imbalance of food in America is obvious but some of the connections to other countries are very revealing.

Snezana Miletic
Snezana Miletic4 years ago

Thanks