- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 36665 Hour
- Reading permission
“Have you eaten enough fruit and vegetables today?”
That greeting has become popular after the Chinese Nutrition Society said that the quantity of fruit and vegetables consumed by Chinese residents had dropped in 2012 compared with 2002, and advised each resident to eat at least 500 grams of vegetables and 250 grams of fruit every day.
It made the suggestion at an event to mark the start of National Nutrition Week on Sunday. By Monday morning, the hashtag #500 grams of vegetables and 250 grams of fruit# have already been read 400 million times on domestic social network micro blog.
As some have pointed out that the data might be out of date, because it describes the situation in 2012, and we are now in 2019. Many people’s diets have changed over the past seven years, they claim.
But according to Zhong Kai, deputy director of the China Food Information Center, the data is the latest available. The national nutrition survey is done every 10 years, so the next survey will not be conducted until 2022. And it takes a long time for people’s dietary habits to change and seven years are not long enough for that. Therefore, he believes that the data still applies today.
A browse at past data will make the situation clearer. China has conducted four national nutrition surveys since the first one in 1982, and the four records put together show some obvious trends. The consumption of cereal food, such as wheat and rice, has constantly dropped, while that of meat, fish and oil has constantly grown. Over this period the amount of vegetables consumed has also decreased.
That’s in accordance with the economic growth chart of China, Zhong said. After China launched its reform and opening-up policies in 1978, people had more money so they quickly put more meat on their dining tables.
However, the four surveys also show that the growth meat and oil consumption has been slowing. Especially, during the past seven years, people’s awareness of health has been greatly increased. There is no national data yet, but some fragmentary surveys show that Chinese residents have been eating more vegetables in the past few years.
Therefore, Zhong is confident the data will look better in the next survey in 2022. Of course, it will take longer time for Chinese residents’ dietary structure to be called “healthy”.
It is easy to eat additional vegetables even if you do not have enough in your daily diet, said Fan Zhihong, a professor on food security at China Agricultural University, “After finishing your lunch, just buy a box of cherries or tomatoes at the supermarket and eat it on your way to office – That’s enough for a whole day’s needs.”