Thursday, March 12, 2009

THE EATING HABITS OF YOUNG SICILIANS

An interesting Demopolis poll regarding the eating habits of Sicilian students aged 13-19 was published in La Sicilia today:
Most main meals consumed by this age group are eaten at home but 25% of those interviewed admitted to skipping breakfast. 69% of those who do eat breakfast said that they take less than 5 minutes over it [which to me is unsurprising as the meal only consists of a biscuit or croissant with a coffee here for adults, whilst children might need only a minute longer to smear the biscuit or a piece of bread with the ubiquitous Nutella].
Bread, pasta and meat are the most regularly consumed foods, but younger children dislike vegetables [what's new there?] and, worryingly and surprisingly in this region of abundant fruit, 32% of the interviewees confessed that they hardly ever eat any.
Given a choice, most of the students would like to eat more pizza and sweet food [in the form of cakes and biscuits] and, when it comes to snacks between meals, they are more likely to choose sweet food over savoury sandwiches or crisps.
46% of the students are unhappy with their weight and the figure rises to 53% if we take the girls alone. 41% of the interviewees have dieted without seeking medical advice. Here we go again - I think it is such a pity that, in so many countries, the lives of even people as young as this are blighted by the body images pushed at them in the media. [I see very few obese youngsters here as compared with a town of similar size in the UK but still children worry unnecessarily about their weight.]
An encouraging 80% thought that healthy foods and local produce were best for them, but when asked the majority could not name many Sicilian food products. However, 50% did say that they wanted to learn more about food traditions and 72% wanted to know more about Sicilian agricultural produce.
So there you have it. How do these attitudes and eating habits compare with where you are?

9 comments:

cb said...

The food just doesn't compare between there and here. Much much more junk food here although it will always be popular with kids (oo.. I feel so old saying that!).
I'm really surprised by the kids not eating so much fruit there because Sicily is so wonderfully rich with fruit and vegetables that actually taste so much nicer than the supermarket stuff we get over here. Since coming back to the UK, I find it very difficult to eat raw tomatoes. I was spoilt in Italy!
The breakfast thing doesn't surprise me, like you, I'd be amazed if adults were any different. Breakfast isn't really a meal so much as a coffee!
I think the weight thing is sad. Generally I noticed in Sicily (but this is coming from London remember) that the kids and everyone really is a lot more active. There are many more outdoors things to do and of course, the weather is vastly different!
It doesn't surprise me that so many are unhappy with their weight though. I think it's something that is hammered into everyone from a very (too) young age.

James Higham said...

That was really rather interesting.

Yes, the weight thing is endemic.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, cb. I agree with all that you say and I, too, am so surprised that the children don't eat more of the lovely fruit available to them. I can certainly understand your feelings about tomatoes! The weight thing is sad for everybody, I feel.
Hi, James. Glad you found it interesting.

sally in norfolk said...

My boys have terrible habbits sleep all day up all night, when not working.. and eat nothing but junk when I am not there to cook ... pizza chicken nuggets fish and tuna pasta bake but i dont worry they are happy and healty and i have made them become independant so cannot complain. even when I am home they work late so eat late.
They are young and things will change as they get older..i hope :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Sally. I think it's great that they are so independent. You must be very proud.

Ellee Seymour said...

I don't think many of our young people would care where their food was sourced from. A very interesting post.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Ellee. It's good that the young people care here, isn't it? Glad you found this interesting.

Winchester whisperer said...

What dio you have for breakfast, WL?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Sorry about the late reply, WW. I'm afraid I've got into Italian habits - 2 lemon biscuits and fresh fruit juice.

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