Around the world in 80 diets: From a bowl of porridge to mountains of junk food - the book that reveals our global eating habits

An incredible new book reveals what people eat across the globe in a single day.

From a circus acrobat from China to an American construction worker, the study captures a snapshot of the startlingly varied diets consumed in the 21st century.

Enlarge   Noolkisaruni Tarakuai

Noolkisaruni Tarakuai, the third of four wives of a Maasai chief outside her house in a viillage compound near Narok, Kenya. The 38-year-old typically consumes only 800 calories a day - the fewest of all the participants. She is 5ft5" tall and weighs 7st3lbs. The tribe's wealth comes from rearing cattle and goats.

Enlarge   Curtis Newcomer

Curtis Newcomer, a U.S. Army soldier, with his typical day's worth of food at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin in California's Mojave Desert. The 20-year-old consumes 4,000 calories a day. He is 6ft 5" tall; and 13st 9lb. He spends 12-hour shifts manning the radio communication tent in preparation for action in Iraq.

Intrepid-husband-and-wife team Peter Menzel, 62, and Faith D'Aluisio spent £640,000 visiting 80 individuals and asking them to pose with what they ate on a typical working day.

In the book titled What I Eat, each participant reveals their age, occupation, fitness level, height and weight. They are pictured with the food and drink, which was analysed to produce the calorie count.

Included in the collection is Kenyan Noolkisaruni Tarakuai, a 38-year-old Masasai herder. Pictured next to her food - a modest intake of porridge, a banana, tea, sugar and water hauled from a reservoir and boiled - makes her the individual with the lowest calorie count at 800.

Cao Xiaoli, (left) a professional acrobat, at Shanghai Circus World in China. The 16-year-old consumes 1,700 calories a day. She is 5ft 2" and weights 7st. She practises routines for five hours a day.
Ironworker Jeff Devine (right) perches on the 50th floor of a high-rise in Chicago. The 39-year-old consumes 6,600 calories a day. He is 6ft 1" tall and weighs 16st 7lb.

In stark contrast, Jill McTighe, a self-confessed  'snacker' from Great Britain consumes an astonishing 12,300 calories per day.

Pictured in her kitchen, Jill, 31, reveals her diet that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner along with midmorning and evening snacks. Making up her intake are chocolates, crisps, sausages, chips, cheese, eggs biscuits and bacon.

Mr Menzel, an award-winning photojournalist and Mrs D'Aluisio, a former TV news producer, who live  in Napa, California, spent a gruelling three-and-a-half years on the project visiting 30 countries.

Enlarge   Camel broker Saleh Abdul Fadlallah

Camel broker Saleh Abdul Fadlallah at the Birqash Camel Market outside Cairo, Egypt. The 40-year-old consumes 3,200 calories a day. He is 5ft 8" tall and weighs 11st 7lbs.

Enlarge   Music teacher Ansis Sauka

Music teacher Ansis Sauka rehearsing the Riga youth choir Kamer in Riga, Latvia. The 36-year-old consumes around 3,900 calories a day. He is 5ft tall and weighs 13st.

Mr Menzel, said: 'The food shown in the photo is not an average of what they have been eating for a long time - it is what they ate on a recent typical working day, as opposed to a weekend or holiday.

'Some of the people we covered are displayed with what would typify their diet almost every day of their life, but others are covered with food that typifies one part of their life or another, and what they were eating at the time of the photograph.

'Sumo wrestler Miyabiyama in Japan was in training when we covered him, and not drinking alcohol or eating in restaurants, so his diet in the photos reflects his training diet.'

Enlarge   Felipe Adams

Felipe Adams is a 30-year-old Iraq war veteran who lives in Inglewood, California. He consumes 2,100 calories a day, is 5ft10" tall and weighs 9st 6lbs. Mr Adams was paralysed by a sniper's bullet while serving in Baghdad.

He added: 'Every bit of food was calculated for ingredients, weighed, and then we spent months analysing the food to determine the calories consumed by each person in one day, according to what is in the photo.'

The book also includes a former professional American Football player-turned-astronaut who is pictured orbiting Earth with his meal floating around him in zero gravity.  

Adding controversy and context to the profiles are essays on food politics and cultural obsessions with diet.

Portion size, the science behind calories, food taboos and how cooking makes us human form topics of the title.

What I Eat is available through Amazon at £31.50. It is published by Material World Books.

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