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Not enough fruit and vegetables

Overweight in Switzerland

Nearly every second person in Switzerland is overweight. This is one of the conclusions of menuCH, a national Swiss survey of eating, drinking and exercise habits. Another conclusion of the representative study is, that the official recommendations on fruit and vegetable consumption are not very well received.

About 2000 adults, from all over Switzerland, were interviewed for the menuCH survey. Furthermore, body weight was evaluated with the Body Mass Index (BMI), it showed that 54% have a normal body weight and 44% is overweight. Twice as many men are overweight than women. Only 2% of the population is underweight, three times more women than men. All over Switzerland the picture is about the same. There are no significant differences between the language regions.

"5-a-day" is the exception
The results for the fruit and vegetable consumption are similar in all the Swiss regions. About 87% of the respondents, between the ages of 18 to 75, eat daily one or more portion or fruit and vegetables. And a quarter of the Swiss eat 3 to 4 portions every day. Only 13% of the respondents follow the 5-a-day advice, as they eat 5 or more portions fruit and vegetables daily.

However, there are regional differences in the share of people barely eating fruit and vegetables. 22% of the Italian speaking population consumes less than one portion per day. In the German speaking part that share is 13% and in the French speaking part of Switzerland 12% of the population consumes less than one portion per day.

For the menuCH data collection, respondents voluntarily gave information about their eating and drinking habits and their exercise habits. Furthermore their body weight and size was measured. The menuCH survey is a project of the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (BLV) together with the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG). The Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne executed the survey on behalf of the BLV and the BAG. 

More survey results can be found in the new brochure of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Monitoring System (MOSEB) of the BAG, which was published early November 2016. However, the data presented of diet and exercise in Switzerland is limited to 18 to 64-year-olds. After the completion of the menuCH evaluation, the results and conclusions will be presented in a comprehensive communication of the BLV in 2017.

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