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Looking at the "Fruit Freedom" Concerns from Economic Data

   Release date: 2021-02-25     Hits: 1    Comment: 0    
Note: Cai FeiDuring the National Nutrition Week, the Chinese Nutrition Society said, In recent years, the total intake of frui
 Cai Fei

During the National Nutrition Week, the Chinese Nutrition Society said, “In recent years, the total intake of fruits and vegetables of residents has been insufficient. Experts suggest that one person should eat enough vegetables and half a catty of fruit per day”. Next, the price index for April was released: national fruit prices rose by 11.9% year-on-year. The two news together seem to have played a chemical role, and online “successful fruit” is difficult to achieve.

If the reader pays attention to it, he will find that the Nutrition Society published the data in 2012.

I posted the original news: In 2012, the average daily intake of vegetables for urban and rural residents was 269.4 grams. Compared with 2002, the average average vegetable intake decreased, especially for rural residents, which decreased by 29.5 grams. Residents' average fruit intake per standard person day is 40.7 grams, which is at a low level.

How to interpret this news:

The first is vegetables. Is the nutrition intake of the nutrition society really worth worrying about?

With the rise of living standards, the decline in vegetable intake is actually a natural thing. I have a paper on the comparison of the food consumption structure of residents across the Taiwan Straits. The paper shows that since 1984, China's per capita vegetable consumption has been declining, from 141 kg in 1984 to 108 kg in 2000, and then to 99.2 kg in 2012. What followed was an increase in consumption of meat, eggs, and fruits.

Although nutritionists often say that they eat more vegetables, for Chinese people from food and clothing to affluence, with the increase in non-staple food such as meat and eggs, the decline in vegetable consumption is actually a normal trend. The situation in Taiwan also proves this. Between 1977 and 2012, Taiwan's per capita vegetable consumption dropped from an average of 118 kilograms per year to 103 kilograms.

Compared with developed countries, the proportion of vegetables in traditional diets in China is too much, not too small. Therefore, it is normal for rural residents to reduce their vegetable intake by 29.5 grams in 2002-2012. At least in terms of per capita consumption, our vegetable consumption is no less than that of the more affluent Taiwanese.

Then there is fruit consumption. In 2019, did we really eat too little fruit?

I provide several data. In 1984, the per capita consumption of fruits in the mainland was only 12.8 kg. In 1999, it rose to 30.45 kg. In 2012, it rose to 40.31 kg, compared with 48.3 kg in 2017. It has been growing with the economic development. (Source: China Statistical Yearbook, China Agricultural Development Report, etc.)

According to the academic paper "Analysis of the Correlation between Fruit Consumption Level and Urbanization in China", the growth of per capita consumption of fruits is related to the improvement of urbanization level. The higher the level of urbanization, the higher the consumption of fruits, from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. As seen in the situation in East Asia, China's annual per capita fruit consumption will eventually reach 50-70 kg.

Although “intake” and “consumption” are two different indicators, fruit consumption has actually increased by 19% since 2012, assuming a 19% increase in intake, then the per capita fruit in 2017 The amount has reached 48.8 kg, which is very close to the “half a catty fruit” recommended by the Chinese Nutrition Society.

According to the above data, the Chinese Nutrition Society's warning about the nutritional status of Chinese people seems to be unable to be confirmed by economic data. If people believe that they should provide updated data.

At present, it is indeed impossible to conclude that "the freedom of fruits is getting farther and farther away from us". The worry about "freedom of fruit" should be studied more as a psychosocial phenomenon.

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