Bhutanese need to eat more fruits and vegetables

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. It is not just apples but eating vegetables can also keep the doctor away. A 2019 study by the health ministry found that Bhutanese need to eat more fruits and vegetables. And just eating three times a day is not enough. The ministry says for someone to live a healthy life one needs to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. And most Bhutanese are not aware.

According to the health ministry, five servings of fruits and vegetables a day reduces a person’s risk of heart diseases, cancers, diabetes, and respiratory problems significantly.

Fruits and vegetables provide the required micronutrients to the body. According to the survey, the average Bhutanese eats only three servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

“I am not aware that we have to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. But sometimes I eat around six to seven times and take fruits and vegetables to school every day. When I am home, I don’t eat fruits and vegetables regularly,” said Karma Tandin Chenzom, a student.

However, eating in excess quantity is also not beneficial. The health ministry says excess micronutrients will be lost through sweat and urine.

On the other hand, people say buying fruits on a regular basis is expensive.

“I am aware that we need to eat five servings every day since my father was a doctor. However, fruits are not affordable. Even then I do give my children fruits four to five times a week,” said Sangay Thinley, a resident.

“Even if we want to eat, we don’t get many fruits and vegetables in our village. We do eat when we get them during summer. Otherwise in winter, we only eat potatoes,” said Zomba Lhamo, another resident.

The health ministry is carrying out programmes to raise awareness on the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.

“We are seeing a rise in overweight and obesity in the country. So, the same STEPS survey found out that around 33 per cent of our population were overweight and 11 per cent were obese. Because of this, we have seen an increasing prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cardiovascular diseases,” said Hari Prasad Pokhrel, Nutritionist with the Department of Public Health.

The health ministry’s survey found that non-communicable diseases account for 69 per cent of all deaths in Bhutan.

It was also found that people with insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables accounted for 86 per cent of non-communicable diseases.

Tashi Yangden

Edited by Sherub Dorji

The post Bhutanese need to eat more fruits and vegetables appeared first on BBSCL.

Related Posts