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Finns among world’s biggest fat and sugar eaters, new figures claim

Data from 54 countries around the world puts Finland as the third largest consumer of fat, and ninth highest in sugar consumption, with adults eating more than the recommended daily amounts of both.

Munkkeja kaupan irtomyyntipisteessä.
Finns' taste for sugary baked goods may have propelled the country up the world sugar consumption rankings. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

New figures suggest that Finns are the world’s third largest consumers of fat, and are also among the world’s top ten sugar eaters.

Rankings published in the Washington Post, and based on food sales data from 54 countries gathered by Euromonitor, show that only Belgian and German shoppers buy more fat per person than in Finland.

The research claims that Finns eat on average 80.8 grams of fat per day, compared to the US government’s daily recommendation of around 65 grams.

At the other end of the scale, Indians are said to consume the least fat, at just 10 grams a day, followed by Indonesians (15.5 grams) and South Koreans, who eat just over 20 grams every day on average.

The research also suggests Finns are fervent sugar-guzzlers, swallowing on average 91.5 grams per day. That is almost double the World Health Organisation’s recommended intake of 50 grams.

Finland’s sweet tooth puts the country at number 9 in Euromonitor’s rankings, although Americans are by far the biggest sugar consumers, at 126.4 grams a day, equal to three cans of Coca-Cola. They’re followed by Germany and then Holland.

Meanwhile India, Israel and Indonesia came bottom of the sugar rankings, taking in just 5 grams, 14.5g and 15g per day respectively.

The figures do not, however, bear much correlation to the OECD’s statistics on obesity. While Germany is at the top of the rankings for sugar and fat consumption, its people are recorded as among the skinniest in the OECD. Finland, Belgium and Holland are also classed as having below-average levels of obesity.

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