Global study identifies countries providing the most balanced dietary guideline

 

Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland and Qatar top the ranking, Germany scores poorly

 

A new study supported by global food awareness organisation, ProVeg International, has ranked countries in terms of how balanced their dietary guidelines are. 

The Netherlands tops the ranking with the most balanced guideline, indicating strong support for sustainable healthy food choices and providing nutrition information that covers the broad spectrum of plant-based diets. Mongolia, on the other hand, shares the lowest rank with a group of Central American and Caribbean countries. Germany is found lower down the rankings as well.

The study will be presented to climate leaders at COP27 – the UN climate conference – in Egypt on Tuesday (November 8th).

Published in Current Developments in Nutrition, the study, called “A Global Analysis of National Dietary Guidelines on Plant-Based Diets and Substitutions for Animal-Based Foods”, assessed 95 guidelines from 100 countries, including states and some subnational regions.

In the study’s “Balanced Food Choice Index” (BCFI), the Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland and Qatar came out as the top countries providing the most balanced dietary guidelines. However, the study demonstrates a considerable information insufficiency in current FBDGs worldwide. The average score of the BFCI is only 33.58 (out of 100 points maximum), leaving ample room for improvement across the globe in the coming years. 

“We hope that our findings will give Governments a global overview of what dietary information countries should provide to their citizens because these guidelines have not only a health impact but have environmental and social dimensions too,” lead study author Anna-Lena Klapp said.

“With COP27 upon us, this study will provide governments with a useful reference point. They can see at a glance which countries they should be aspiring to follow. Also, it provides food for thought for those countries that do not yet have a dietary guideline but are thinking about producing one,” Klapp said.

More about the index

The BFCI was developed in order to measure the extent to which existing dietary guidelines encourage sustainable healthy food choices that can, but do not have to, include animal-based products.

Most countries do not provide information to their citizens that cover the broad spectrum of plant-based diets. A total of 38 guidelines (40%) contain a position on vegetarian diets (including vegan diets). Nearly half (45%) of all guidelines already mention plant-based alternatives to meat or animal milk.

 

Ranking of countries by Balanced Food Choice Index

 

Rank Country
(states and subnational regions) 
BFCI Rank Country
(states and subnational regions) 
BFCI
1 Netherlands 94 51 Bulgaria 30
2 Australia 89 51 Colombia 30
3 Switzerland 85 51 Cyprus 30
4 Qatar 83 51 Georgia 30
5 New Zealand 82 51 Ireland 30
6 United Kingdom 80 56 Poland 26
7 China (Hong Kong) 78 57 Greece 24
8 USA 75 57 India 24
9 Sweden 74 57 Japan 24
10 Belgium – Flanders 64 57 Russia 24
11 Turkey 63 61 France 23
12 Malaysia 62 62 Republic of Korea 21
13 Italy 61 63 Algeria 18
14 Sri Lanka 60 63 Bahrain 18
15 Canada 59 63 Chile 18
15 Iceland 59 63 Egypt 18
17 Belgium – Wallonia 57 63 Iraq 18
17 North Macedonia 57 63 Jordan 18
19 Israel 56 63 Kuwait 18
19 Lebanon 56 63 Philippines 18
21 Slovenia 55 63 Yemen 18
22 Malta 53 72 Afghanistan 15
22 South Africa 53 72 Honduras 15
24 Denmark 52 72 Oman 15
25 Indonesia 50 72 Uruguay 15
25 Portugal 50 76 Austria 12
27 Finland 49 76 Belize 12
27 Norway 49 76 Dominican Republic 12
29 Ecuador 48 76 Kenya 12
29 Thailand 48 76 Saint Kitts and Nevis 12
31 China 45 81 Bangladesh 9
31 Latvia 45 81 Costa Rica 9
31 Namibia 45 81 Nepal 9
31 Paraguay 45 84 Barbados 6
31 Spain 45 84 Cuba 6
31 United Arab Emirates 45 84 Grenada 6
37 Luxembourg 44 84 Sierra Leone 6
38 Brazil 43 84 Venezuela 6
39 Saudi Arabia 41 89 Guyana 3
40 Fiji 39 89 Jamaica 3
40 Nigeria 39 89 Peru 3
42 Argentina 38 89 Slovakia 3
42 Mexico 38 93 Antigua and Barbuda 0
44 El Salvador 36 93 Bahamas 0
44 Guatemala 36 93 Dominica 0
46 Pakistan 35 93 Mongolia 0
47 Albania 33 93 Panama 0
47 Benin 33 93 Saint Lucia 0
47 Bolivia (Plurinational State of) 33 93 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 0
50 Germany 32 93 Seychelles 0

 

ENDS 

Note to Editors

For media inquiries, email Peter Rixon at [email protected]

To contact lead study author, Anna-Lena Klapp, email: [email protected] 

About ProVeg International

ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.

ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.

ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.

 

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