Only one in three Argentines consume fruits and vegetables at least once a day indicated the Second National Survey of Nutrition and Health (ENNyS), which revealed that the inhabitants of our country modified their eating patterns, far from the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for the Argentine Population, as reported by the Buenos Aires College of Nutritionists, whose professionals demand the implementation of frontal food labeling.
The nutritionist Carolina Simonet said, this situation becomes even more serious in children and adolescents, who consume 40 percent more sugary drinks, twice as many pastry products, sweet cookies, and salty snacks, and three times as many sweets compared to adults.
The Second ENNyS also revealed that almost four out of every ten Argentines drink sugary drinks daily and more than three out of ten consume sweets (candies, alfajores, lollipops, gum, among others) two or more times a week. In turn, a part of the population regularly consumes pastry products, sugary cereals, sweet cookies, and snacks.
Food systems and food and beverage consumption patterns have been changing worldwide in recent decades and also in Argentina, where currently 7 out of 10 adults are overweight, overweight, and obese, with a trend in increase, the document consigned.
According to the degree of processing, the products can be classified into four groups:
Unprocessed or minimally processed foods, including fresh, dried, or frozen fruits; vegetables, grains, and legumes; walnuts; meat, fish, and shellfish; eggs and milk.
Processed culinary ingredients, which are substances used in the preparation of food that is generally not consumed alone, such as fats, oils, sugars, and salt.
Processed foods, which are made by mixing the two previous groups and include simple bread and cheeses, fish, salted/cured meats, and canned fruits, legumes, and vegetables.
Ultra-processed products, which are industrial formulations made from substances derived from food or synthesized from other sources, examples of these are packaged potato chips, packaged snacks, ice cream, chocolates and candies, cookies, sweetened cereals for breakfast, jams, sugary drinks, among others.
Nutritionist Josefina Locatelli said, the excessive consumption of ultra-processed products is problematic for human health for multiple reasons, they have low nutritional quality in general, they have intense flavors, and added ingredients that generate excessive consumption. They use attractive marketing packages and strategies and cause negative effects in various cultural, social, economic, and environmental aspects.
In Argentina, overweight and obesity are in a trend of sustained increase currently, 68 percent of adults and 41 percent of children and adolescents between 5 and 17 years old are overweight.
In turn, the specialist said that it is essential to advance in the implementation of the frontal labeling system for food with black octagons, as indicated in the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, which, with half a sanction, must still be approved by Deputies.
The nutritional information must be clear in order to make choices that reproduce healthy eating habits. Depending on how they are prepared and used in meals, these foods can be part of a healthy diet.