From fish and chips to a good old roast dinner, traditional British foods aren’t exactly known for being healthy.
But a new survey suggests that British food may actually be healthier than you think – at least when it comes to packaged foods and drinks.
The survey, by the George Institute for Global Health, analysed 400,000 food and drink products from 12 countries, looking at levels of sugar, saturated fats, and calories.
Surprisingly, the UK came out on top as the country with the healthiest foods, followed by the US and Australia.
At the other end of the scale, India got the lowest rating, followed by China and Chile.
Dr Elizabeth Dunford, who led the study, said: “Globally we’re all eating more and more processed foods and that’s a concern because our supermarkets shelves are full of products that are high in bad fats, sugar and salt and are potentially making us sick.
“Our results show that some countries are doing a much better job than others.
“Unfortunately it’s the poorer nations that are least able to address the adverse health consequences that have the unhealthiest foods.”
With packaged foods progressively dominating the world’s food supply, the findings are a ‘real cause for concern’, according to the researchers.
Professor Bruce Neal, co-author of the study, said: “Billions of people are now exposed to very unhealthy foods on a daily basis.
“The obesity crisis is just the first ripple of a tsunami of dietary ill health that is coming for us.
“We have to find a way that the food industry can profit from selling rational quantities of quality food, rather than deluging us with unhealthy junk. There are few greater priorities for human health.’’
The researchers hope the findings will encourage companies to improve the healthiness of their products.