Costa Ricans’ eating habits worsened during crisis

May 14, 2010

A recent study by the University of Costa Rica revealed that 43.5 percent of Costa Ricans are eating less healthily than a year ago.

According to the study, Costa Ricans are buying food of a lower quality, at a cheaper price and in lesser quantities.

Experts suspect the poor eating habits have something to do with the economic crisis that seeped into Costa Rica at the beginning of 2009.

“A good percentage of the population of the country makes adjustments in its eating habits in order to adapt to the high cost of living,” said Irma Sandoval, who helped manage the study. “If families make other adaptations in other areas, food occupies the third place in the scale of things that change.”

To respond to the changing food habits, surveyors recommended that the government take action to ensure good nutrition, stimulate local food production and improve price controls on basic foods.

“When we talk about food safety, we are referring to production, availability, and accessibility to ingredients used to produce food,” said Luis Fernando Fernández, who collaborated on the project. “Food safety development is fundamental for the implications it has for the stability of democracy in a nation.”

The study, which was called “Implications of the Crisis on Food Security and Nutrition,” was administered via telephone to more than 800 people over the age of 18.

Also included in the questions was the perception of body weight, to which sixty two percent of interviewees believe they have a good body weight, 30 percent say they feel obese and 37 percent say there is a problem of obesity in their family. Participants in the survey were also asked their perception of food handling in commercial establishments; 76 percent said food is not handled well due to lack of hygienic practices and limited nutritional awareness.

You may be interested

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide
Changemakers
121 views
Changemakers
121 views

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide

Mitzi Stark - May 23, 2018

The Clodomiro Picado Institute is spread along the main road of Dulce Nombre de Coronado, northeast of San José. Its…

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
220 views
sports
220 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
274 views
Human rights
274 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…