The Norwegian Health Institute, Helsedirektoratet, releases a report every year. It shows that people in that country are eating fewer fruit and vegetables than before. Nutritionists say this needs to change.
The annual study shows that the amount of fruit being eaten decreased by 2,1kg per person. This is from 2017 to 2018. People ate, on average, 86,6 kg of fruit in 2018. The amount of vegetables consumed dropped by 1,7kg per person - from 79,6 kg in 2017 to 77,9 kg in 2018.
Cathrine Borchsenius is a clinical nutritionist at the Norwegian health and wellness website, Bramat: “These are dismal numbers. I have been working as a nutritionist for years. I have noticed that people are increasingly concerned with their nutrition and health."
"But, also people are more focused on what they should not eat. A lot of people are, therefore, anxious when it comes to food. They feel bad when they do not eat as healthily or well as they think they should," says Cathrine.
Eat more fruit and veggies
Jøran Hjelmesæth is head of the Norwegian National Council for Nutrition. He also manages a morbid obesity program at a hospital in Vestfold. He says, "We have seen a decline in the consumption of fruit and vegetables. We, therefore, have a long way to go." In 2008, people in Norway ate an average of 93 kg of fruit per person per year.
Also less sugar, meat, and fish
Norwegians are not eating only less fruit and vegetables. In 2018, they also ate less sugar, meat, and fish. The amount of sugar has dropped by 1,7kg per person. The amount of meat by 1,6kg and fish by 0,7kg.
The Helsedirektoratet sees the decreased consumption of sugar and meat as a good thing. However, they advise that more fish should be eaten. This is besides an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption.
Potatoes making a comeback
A striking statistic is that potato consumption increased by about four percent. "The potato's bad reputation is undeserved. Many believe potatoes have limited value. Potatoes do have a low energy content. However, they contain many beneficial vitamins and minerals," Hjelmesæth concludes.