Netherlands is country with most plentiful, healthy food: Oxfam

Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:14pm EST
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Netherlands nudged past France and Switzerland as the country with the most nutritious, plentiful and healthy food, while the United States and Japan failed to make it into the top 20, a new ranking released by Oxfam on Tuesday showed.

Chad came in last on the list of 125 nations, behind Ethiopia and Angola, in the food index from the international relief and development organization.

"The Netherlands have created a good market that enables people to get enough to eat. Prices are relatively low and stable and the type of food people are eating is balanced," Deborah Hardoon, a senior researcher at Oxfam who compiled the results, said in an interview.

"They've got the fundamentals right and in a way that is better than most other countries all over the world."

Oxfam ranked the nations on the availability, quality and affordability of food and dietary health. It also looked at the percentage of underweight children, food diversity and access to clean water, as well as negative health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes.

European countries dominated the top of the ranking but Australia squeezed into the top 12, tying with Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Luxembourg at No. 8.

The United Kingdom failed to make the top 10, tying for the 13th spot, because of the volatility of its food prices compared to other goods, which Oxfam said is on a level with Peru (51), Malta (33) and Kyrgyzstan (65).

African nations, along with Laos (112), Bangladesh (102), Pakistan (97) and India (97), were predominant in the bottom 30 countries.   Continued...

 
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander serves a meal to spectators during the annual Queens day in Veenendaal April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Frank van Beek/Pool