The Italian Almanac

not enough vegetables

Italian News - March 18

The thinnest Italians live in the far north and the fattest in the far south, according to a study published this week. According to a survey of 10,000 children and adults from all over the Italy, Alto Adige on the Austrian border has only 5.3% of obese people - compared to 19% in Sicily

"Once children get overweight they tend to stay that way into their adult lives, bringing the risk of a host of ailments," said Verona University Paediatrics specialist Claudio Maffeis. The study went on to reveal that only one Italian in ten eats correctly - especially where vegetables are concerned.

The average Italian eats vegetables only three times a day, compared to a recommended diet of five portions a day. Lazio, the region around Rome, is the best with 4.4 portions while all the southern regions are well below average. "It's best to eat five portions per day of vegetables of five different colours," said Bologna University gastroenterology specialist Davide Festi.

The study also found that people weren't drinking enough milk or eating enough pulses (beans, peas and other legumes). Only 13% of adults and 6% of children drink the recommended quantity of at least two glasses of milk a day.