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If you’ve turned on your TV much recently, you’ve surely noticed the plethora of cooking shows that have taken over our screens. But do these programs entice us to adopt healthier eating habits at home?
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, a 2017 study focusing on health and lifestyle shows that 35% of Israeli residents refrain from drinking sweetened beverages, products that contain extremely high amounts of sugar (and calories) but lack any nutritional value. Apparently, residents of Tel Aviv and Haifa are more health-conscious, on average, with rates of 40% and 44% respectively, whereas only 25% of Jerusalem residents forgo sweetened drinks.
To balance sugary drinks, we should try to eat as many healthy foods as possible, such as vegetables rich in dietary fiber. It turns out that 23% of Israelis eat four or more vegetables a day. Only 18% of Jerusalemites, whose population is poorer than the national average, and who find it difficult to purchase fresh produce (because it is very expensive), eat four or more vegetables a day, as opposed to 33% of Tel Aviv residents and 35% of Haifa residents.
It appears that regulations for the labeling of unwholesome food, which the food industry lobby aims to soften, are only part of the picture. If the government wants residents to eat more healthfully, it must first help people improve their economic status. Improving the situation in Jerusalem should be at the top of the list.
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