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03 Jun. 2023

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Healthy Eating Day: what's wrong with Ukrainians' eating habits

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Healthy Eating Day: what's wrong with Ukrainians' eating habits

Every year, on June 2, more than 45 countries celebrate the Day of Healthy Eating and Refusal of Excesses in Food. Find out more about the history of the day and how the problem of bad eating habits has affected Ukrainians

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The tradition of celebrating the World Eating Disorders Day was established in 2016. The main goal of this day is to provide medical and psychological assistance to people who have become hostages to diseases such as anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, etc. 


How many people in the world suffer from eating disorders? 


Unfortunately, this is a very common problem, and anyone can face it, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Today, experts give different estimates of the scale of the problem, as many countries do not have official statistics on the incidence. However, at least 9% of the world's population suffers from eating disorders. 


It is also important that about 20% of all deaths in the world are associated with unhealthy diet and insufficient consumption of micronutrients, which ultimately leads to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. That is why it is very important that the world speaks openly about this problem and supports people facing eating disorders.


How Ukrainians eat: the main problems


The eating habits of Ukrainians lead to excessive consumption of flour, potatoes, and saturated fats, which significantly increases the risk of weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.


In addition, according to a study by the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Ukrainians consume too few healthy foods with a high content of micro and macro elements:


● Ukrainian citizens consume 174 grams of fresh vegetables per day, while the norm is 300 grams;

● 83 grams of fresh fruits and berries, against the 300 gram limit;

● 9 grams of legumes against the recommended amount of 75 grams;

● 8 grams of nuts and seeds at the rate of 30 grams;

● 140 grams of fermented milk and dairy products at a rate of 700 grams.


As a result, the body receives an insufficient amount of essential substances, including calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, E, etc.


It is also important to note that Ukrainians do not consume enough clean drinking water. The average figure is 500 milliliters, while the norm is 1.5 liters.


Salt consumption: the norm


The daily norm of salt is 5 grams, but according to the survey, Ukrainians consume almost twice the recommended amount of salt, namely 9.7 grams. At the same time, men consume 17% more salt than women.


59% of salt enters the body during self-cooking and adding salt to ready meals. The rest, 41%, comes from store-bought products, namely bread and bakery products, processed meat and fish products, canned vegetables, etc.


Therefore, a significant excess of the recommended daily allowance of salt is an acute problem that should force Ukrainians to work on their eating habits. After all, excessive salt intake leads not only to high blood pressure, but also to more serious diseases related to the cardiovascular system.




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The problem of sugar consumption


The recommended amount of sugar per day is 25 grams, but only a quarter of Ukrainians adhere to these recommendations, while 40% of citizens consume 25 to 50 grams of sugar per day.


Excessive sugar consumption is the main cause of diabetes and obesity.


Eating habits: the main problems of Ukrainians' eating behavior


The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians, namely 70%, eat at home, but the number of meals and the time of the highest caloric load are of concern to experts. 


Thus, 43.5% of Ukrainian citizens have more than 3 meals a day (from 4 to 6), 59% have one additional snack to the three main meals, and another 28.2% have two additional snacks.


In addition, the main negative eating habit of 39% of Ukrainians is that the most caloric meal is dinner and evening snacks.


The problem of being overweight


Almost a third of adult Ukrainians, namely 29.8%, are obese in one way or another. However, the eating habits of the younger generation and children show positive dynamics and a gradual change in the eating behavior of Ukrainian citizens. One of the factors influencing this is the recognition of the problem in the world and the spread of healthy eating principles through the media and the Internet.


Recommendations for healthy eating


To maintain your health and prevent the development of diseases, we recommend:


● Control your weight and consume the required amount of food based on your body's needs and the level of daily physical activity.

● Increase the consumption of fresh vegetables, fruits, berries and other foods with a high content of beneficial macro and microelements.

● Reduce consumption of processed foods high in salt and sugar.

● Drink more pure, non-carbonated water and limit your consumption of coffee and tea.

● Spend more time outdoors and increase physical activity.


We remind you! Eating behavior and habits are formed not only within a single family, as national heritage and history have a significant impact on society. Thus, traditional Ukrainian cuisine cannot be called dietary, but it is famous for its delicious dishes all over the world. To learn more about the peculiarities of Ukrainian culinary art, please follow the link.




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