The Swiss consume far too much meat and eat too few milk products, according to a national survey of diet. The findings have concerned nutritionists, but will hopefully aid a plan to get eating habits back on track.
The menuCH survey of 2,000 people found they ate well over three times the recommended amount of meat per week – 780 grams instead of 240 grams. They also consumed four times the safe limit of sugar, salt and fats.
They survey respondents also confessed to eating too little healthy oils, mainly in the shape of nuts, and consuming only two portions of milk products per week instead of the recommended three.
Barbara Walther from the government’s food research institute Agroscopeexternal link told Swiss public television SRF that she was concerned about the lack of milk products being consumed. “The energy contained in a glass of milk equates to two chocolate bars,” she said. “And the amount of valuable nutrients that can be absorbed is incomparable.”
“The hysteria about the alleged high fat content of milk is long outdated,” she added.
The Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Officeexternal link pulled together the menuCH data to kick-start the government’s objective of overhauling dietary habits by 2024.
The survey looked not only at what people eat, but how much they cook and how long they spend preparing meals each day. The results were broken down into the habits of men and women across a range of ages.
The findings dispelled the notion that younger people do not spend enough time cooking their own food. While people in younger age groups tended to eat out more at lunch, they also spent more time in the kitchen in the evening compared to older survey respondents.