Weird dietary habits in the US

March 8, 2010
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(This article was first published on Diego Valle's Blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Using this database of food consumption data the blog Canibais e Reis kindly put together, I calculated all values for which the US was at least 2 standard deviations from the world average.

Here are the outliers in standard deviations from the world mean:

Poultry.Meat..kcal.day...20032.5
Soybean.Oil..kcal.day...20034.5
Sugar...Sweeteners..kcal.day...20032.1
Sugar..Raw.Equivalent..kcal.day...20032.1
Vegetable.Oils..kcal.day...20032.1 

Lots of sugar and Omega 6 fatty acids. Not very healthy.

In case you were wondering, the only weird dietary habit in Mexico is (ahem) a high consumption of beans, 3 standard deviations above the world average. Since I suspected maize was also an outlier but it wasn't included in the database, I downloaded the 2005 data from the FAO website and indeed, Mexico is also an outlier in maize consumption. I bet if soft drink consumption were tracked, Mexico would also be an outlier.
The code is here and the data is here

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on his blog: Diego Valle's Blog.

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