Do Italians eat better? When more than 600 Italians aged 18 to 64 were asked the question 'Do you think your eating style is improving during this quarantine?', 78% of respondents said it was not improving during the lockdown period, according to the latest research conducted by PXR Italy. However, this percentage should be integrated with other data in order to define a more precise picture of the eating behaviour of Italians in quarantine, and thus to understand if they are eating better. First of all, let's ask ourselves: what is an eating style and what is a diet?
What is an eating style and what is a diet?
In fact, the term eating style has no precise definition, and is often combined with the word diet. The latter derives from the Greek 'dìaita = regime, style, standard of living', and is understood to mean a correct, healthy and balanced diet, aimed at satisfying the physiological, psychological and relational needs of the individual.
More and more often the word diet is misused or misleadingly defined; associated with calorie restriction regimes, suffering and effort, it has lost some of its original appeal.
The Mediterranean diet, for example, is considered an intangible heritage protected by UNESCO; many studies have helped to show that the typical Mediterranean diet is complete and healthy. And let's not forget that Italy still boasts several records in the field of food production, as well as a profound culture of 'eating well'.
In spite of this, in 2019, the following data was recorded in Italy: half of the adult population was overweight or even obese, with an obesity rate of 11%, equal to 5.3 million people, up 20% over the previous ten years. In the same year, only 4% of the total population had a very good dietary culture, while one in five adults had a poor one, and more than half had a 'problem' one. As of today, one of the main shortcomings of Italians at the table is their lack of ability to plan their diet (57%), to choose food correctly and effectively (67%), and to prepare and consume food (71%). In short, we can say that the situation in Italy, as in many other countries of the globalised West, is not the best (Istat data in collaboration with IBDO foundation).
But let's sum up: when it comes to nutrition, the data shown by PXR Italy shows us that improvement is possible; in fact, more than 2 out of 10 Italians say they eat better during this quarantine period. This figure should make us think: could this difficult lockdown period be an opportunity to increase awareness of what we eat? And therefore a motivation to eat more healthily and more fully?
We conclude with Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's famous phrase: "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are".
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