Artist photographs children from around the world with what they eat in a week

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
One photographer travelled the world to document children's eating habits [Photo: Getty]

In an attempt to showcase how eating habits differ across the globe, one photographer snapped 25 children from nine destinationa surrounded by the foods they eat on a weekly basis.

Titled Daily Bread: What Kids Eat Around the World, the project is the brainchild of US photographer, Gregg Segal, who uses his camera to explore identity, behaviour and beliefs.

Over the course of three years, he visited the United Arab Emirates, India, Malaysia, France, Germany, Italy, Senegal, Brazil and the United States to document children’s eating rituals.

“As globalisation alters our relationship to food, I’m making my way around the world, asking kids to keep a journal of everything they eat in a week,” he explains on his website. “Once the week is up, I make a portrait of the child with the food arranged around them.”

“I’m focusing on kids because eating habits, which form when we’re young, last a lifetime and often pave the way to chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer.”

According to Segal, the project highlighted that home cooked meals “are the bedrock of family and culture” often leading to a healthier lifestyle.

“The deeper goal of Daily Bread is to be a catalyst for change and link to a growing, grassroots community that is moving the needle on diet,” he concludes.

One of the incredible photographs shows nine-year-old Kawakanih who lives in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

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She eats manioc, a potato-like root, on a daily basis with beiju - which Segal likens to a pancake.

Unlike a large number of children across the globe, when she’s hungry it’s not a case of checking out what’s in the fridge.

“When you’re hungry,” she told Segal, “You just go to the river with your net.”

But her lifestyle is a far cry from those who live in Kawakanih, a more upper class suburb in Brazil.

Henrico, 10, likes to create his own snacks with favourites including chocolate soufflé, ‘brigadeiro’ - a ball of milk and chocolate - or anything that contains Nutella.

It’s a similar tale over in the United States, as six-year-old Daria Cullen also loves the likes of milk chocolate, sweets and most importantly, mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Cullen doesn’t like to eat fruits or vegetables though this isn’t unusual.

In the caption, Segal writes: “Can you guess what percent of our calories come from vegetables in the US? Less than 1%!”

“Looking at all of the kids’ food I photographed, not just in the US, but all over the world, greens were consistently absent.”

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Though it’s not always down to choice, as a large majority of children living in poverty across the globe are unable to access healthy food.

According to Segal, a number of children in Brasil attend school in order to be able to eat but the government has failed to provide “adequate school lunches” with nothing more than milk and canned beans on offer.

The photographer emphasises that a generation ago, Brazil’s population was largely underfed. Now, 50% of inhabitants are overweight.

You can find out more about the photographic series over on Segal’s website.

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