BackEat & Drink » Food Culture » [Photos] What Citizens Of The World Eat In A Day

[Photos] What Citizens Of The World Eat In A Day

Most of us don't give a second thought to what we eat in a day. According to National Geographic, the average person consumes 2,870 calories from morning to night, but what you eat can change dramatically depending on where you live and what's available.

Related Articles:

Will Saigon's Street Food Scene Last Another Generation?

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Gluten

[Photos] 15 Strange Snacks From Around Asia (But Mostly Japan)

Here's some food for thought: in Vietnam, the average person consumes 2,704 calories per day. That's not far off the current global average, a testament to the country's growth over the last few decades, however this wasn't always the case. Fifty years ago, Vietnamese consumed 1,941 calories in a day on average, and grains made up a full 78 percent of the daily menu.

Vietnam's daily calories per person via Nat Geo

When photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D'Aluisio were traveling around the world in the early 2000s, the husband-and-wife team couldn't help but notice how greatly people's diets differed across countries.

Out of this observation came their book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, which feautres a series of portraits in which average people stand beside their daily meals. The results vary from a Maasai woman's modest 800-calorie diet to the staggering 5,400-calorie feast of an Illinois truck driver. In between, the couple captures sumo wrestlers and call center operators, diamond polishers and war veterans next to their food.

Menzel and D'Aluisio chose to arrange the photos in this way in order to raise awareness about people's daily food intake. “I want people to understand their own diets better – and their own chemistry and their own biology,” Menzel said in an interview with NPR, “And make better decisions for themselves.”

This is not the duo's first foray into food photography. Their other books, Hungry Planet and Dose also document the different foods and eating habits of cultures around the world.


Nguyen Van Theo, Rice Farmer, Vietnam – 2,500 Calories

Maria Ermelinda Ayme Sichigalo, Mother of Eight, Ecuador – 3,800 Calories

Willie Ishulutak, Soapstone Carver, Canada – 4,700 Calories

Mariel Booth, Model and Student, New York – 2,400 Calories

Curtis Newcomer, US Army Soldier, Mojave Desert – 4,000 Calories

Marble Moahi, Mother Living with HIV/AIDS, Botswana – 900 Calories

Shashi Kanth, AOL Call Center Worker, India - 3,000 Calories

Takeuchi Masato, Professional Sumo Wrestler, Japan - 3,500 Calories

Aivars Radzins, Forester and Beekeeper, Latvia - 3,100 Calories

Viahondjera Musutua, Himba Tribeswoman - 1,500 Calories

Sitarani Tyaagi, Hindu Priest, India - 1,000 Calories

Bruce Hopkins, Bondi Beach Lifeguard, Australia - 3,700 Calories


[Photos via Huffington Post]

Related Articles

in Food Culture

'Trendy' Elephant Poop Coffee Taking off in Vietnam

Vietnam is known for its cafe chồn, coffee beans that are ingested, pooped out by weasels and sold at prices far higher than the normal variety. Now, a Vietnamese breeder is adopting a similar techniq...

in Food Culture

2 Vietnamese Restaurants in Saigon, Hanoi Named Among Asia's 100 Best

Vietnam’s culinary prowess is no secret, with its traditional dishes helping to draw tourists from all over the globe. 

in Food Culture

20 Vietnamese Foods You Need to Try Now

Uyen Luu, author of My Vietnamese Kitchen and contributor to Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube, shares her favorite Vietnamese dishes and how to cook them.

in Food Culture

5 Of Saigon’s Best Markets

When people think of Saigon, the iconic Bến Thành Market usually comes to mind. But while it’s rich in history, for locals, it’s little more than a tourist attraction. Vietnam Coracle recently took to...

in Food Culture

7 Of Vietnam’s Most Expensive Traditional Dishes

As Vietnam’s cities develop, there are plenty of restaurants that offer up dishes at international (read: expensive) prices. While Vietnamese food is generally considered cheap, there are a few notabl...

in Food Culture

A Chat With The Organizers Of The Outcast’s Farmers Market

Saigon’s only farmers market is gearing up for its second installment at Saigon Outcast this Sunday. We sat down with the organizers (Saigon Outcast and La Holista) to see why they started the market,...

Partner Content