Living in a country that not only fosters, but encourages mass consumption of ridiculously decadent food fare, I find it a little surprising that the United States is NOT the number one consumer of dairy products. I mean we live in a land that throws chocolate in and around basically any food imaginable along with copious amounts of bacon and we're neither the lead consumer of milk nor pork per capita, believe it or not. I might even be a little disappointed at those facts if I weren't suffering from three simultaneous heart attacks right now.
I'm kidding of course about the heart attacks. But seriously, it seems that most Americans just don't have the same love and affection (and possibly lactose tolerance) as certain parts of Europe with countries like Sweden consuming between two and three hundred Kgs (that's 440-660 lbs for us 'Mericans) of milk per capita per year. Meanwhile, China's consumption of milk is among the lowest with 37 Kgs (81 lbs) per capita per year. This next image illustrating the percentage of each country's population allergic to lactose--a sugar found in milk and dairy products--might shed some light on these statistics.[click through for hi-res]
It turns out that over 90% of China's population is allergic to lactose, which might explain it's low consumption. I'd probably be less inclined to eat something that gave me indigestion, but I am still a sucker for rest-stop sushi. C'est la vie.
Meanwhile, Sweden's population of lactose intolerant individuals is right around 4%. Back over in the US, lactose intolerance varies by race with about 74% of African Americans, 87% of Indians and 14% of Caucasians with some kind of lactose allergy.via Visual News