Just curious, how does are health compare to health in countries that ban these additives?
not many countries actually ban all of these additives. These additives though, are very important for food transport and storage. High fructose corn syrup, MSG, the high NaCl content of foods, and the additives all increase the products shelf life. If you want "fresh" food, then these are essential. this processing has gone a long way to cure starvation around the world. Now people dont have to live near agricultural areas to get non spoiled food.
Now though, the starvation pendulum has swung to far in the other direction and humans now consume too many calories. This is the major factor in diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity. This and a lack of physical activity because technology has allowed us to be more productive while using less energy.
This balance, higher calorie intake and decrease calorie output leads to an increase in daily excess calories which are stored in the body in various forms.
Now, we have to regulate ourselves and eat less and exert ourselves more. this is the major US problem. It does get more complicated than that with caloric density and lack of micronutrients in processed foods.
There is a very good book about this topic:
"Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy" Image: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sWn6CycPL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg
Anyone interested in this topic would enjoy this book. It's written by a Harvard nutritionist and he does an excellent job presenting the subject.