A recent poll conducted by GFS.bern suggests Swiss are becoming less interested in nutrition and exercise.
While a majority (77%) still say they are fairly or very interested in nutrition and exercise, the percentage saying they were very interested fell from 41% in 2014 to 27% in 2020. Over the same period, the percentage saying they were very or fairly uninterested rose from 14% to 22%.
In 2014, 86% said they were fairly or very interested in nutrition and exercise, 9 percentage points higher than today.
This downward trend comes at a time when discussions about different forms of nutrition and health trends are rising, driven partly by growth in digital and social media.
Declining interest in nutrition and exercise is reflected in recently published statistics on obesity in Switzerland. From 2012 to 2017, the percentage of Switzerland’s men suffering from obesity rose from 11.2% to 12.3%. The same figures for women were 9.4% and 10.2%.
The recent obesity study showed that less than a quarter of Switzerland’s population is eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Only 23.5% of those of a healthy weight were managing this recommendation. The rates among those with a weight problem were even lower.
The poll also asked what could be done to improve the health problems associated with poor diet and insufficient exercise. A majority of the voters polled favoured personal responsibility over government measures. The prevailing view was that dealing with obesity is a question of personal willpower.
In general, a focus on improving information was favoured over food taxes and regulation. A majority of those polled were against a sugar tax, a result in line with polling results over the previous five years.
However, there was widespread support for better food labelling, in particular a colour coding system.
It is worth remembering there are no food labels on fruit and vegetables.
GFS.bern poll results (in German)
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