I decided to compare the Netherlands to its neighboring countries of Germany, Belgium. I also wanted to add in the United States. It seems that the Netherland’s and its neighboring countries rank comparatively high to the rest of the world. The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium all have very similar SDG placements with Netherlands ranking number 9, Germany ranking number 5, and Belgium ranking number 11. When comparing these countries to the US, I was very surprised because the US is ranked number 31 and the US is richer than the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium combined. If the US has the money, why would they struggle to reach the sustainability goals?
I first decided to find the main areas the US is lacking in compared to the other countries. When looking at the poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 a day, the US more than doubled the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. The US also surpassed all of the compared countries with the obesity rates of over 12% higher than the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. These statistics made sense to me because poverty and obesity are commonly directly correlated.
I went on a deeper dive to better understand the reason the US has heightened poverty and obesity compared to the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. According to the American Diabetes Association, high-income countries tend to have larger obesity rates compared to middle to low-income countries. This is because the wealth gap is greater in the US compared to the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. People in America tend to live in extremely poverty dense neighborhoods which can cause increased food deserts leading to high rates of obesity.