Weird dietary habits in the US

March 8, 2010
By

[This article was first published on Diego Valle's Blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
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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…2003 2.5
Soybean.Oil..kcal.day…2003 4.5
Sugar…Sweeteners..kcal.day…2003 2.1
Sugar..Raw.Equivalent..kcal.day…2003 2.1
Vegetable.Oils..kcal.day…2003 2.1 
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

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