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Consumption of olive oil and fish is low and on the decrease in Lebanon

19-9-2014

As Safir newspaper published a report on the dietary system in Lebanon especially in terms of consumption of olive oil and fish.  The report is based on the findings of a study carried out by AUB nutritionist Dr. Omar Obeid and Masters Student Carla Mallah7. The report pointed out to a decrease in the consumption of olive oil in Lebanon.  A Lebanese now consumes an average of 7.1 grams of olive oil daily compared to 43 grams of other vegetable oils (corn and sunflower oil).  According to Mallah7, this decrease is largely due to the rising prices of olive oil compared to those of other vegetable oils.  In addition, most Lebanese consumers prefer to cook in vegetable oil rather than olive oil which tend to generate a smell when cooked.  The study also showed that Lebanon is amongst the countries with the least level of consumption of fish compared to other Mediterranean countries. The yearly intake of fish in Lebanon averages 9.3 kilos per individual compared to 33.7 kilos in France and 42.9 kilos in Spain. According to the study, the reason is also attributed to the high prices of fish and the fact that fish is smelly when cooked at home. In addition, the study added, non coastal areas tend not to have fish shops. Finally, the study was concluded with recommendations by the researchers to increase the intake of olive oil and fish and to diversify nutrition sources especially since Lebanon's food intake indicators show a decrease in the consumption of grains and vegetables compared to a higher consumption of rice and potato.

Source: Al-Safir 19 September 2014

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