Goodbye carefree years! Food safety is paramount

The pandemic and the war in Ukraine are influencing views on diet and exercise. A greater awareness of basic needs seems to displace self-actualization.

A fundamental lack of interest in nutritional issues can be observed among the younger voters surveyed. These are the findings from gfs.bern’s representative Exercise and Nutrition Monitor 2022.

Until the late 2010s, diet and exercise often went hand in hand with self-actualization and self-expression. Perhaps this was a sign of prosperity. Now the carefree years seem to be over in this regard. The focus returns to basic needs. With the pandemic and war in Ukraine, security and cost considerations come to the fore. Emergency stock takes on a new meaning. 54 percent of people with the right to vote in Switzerland say they do. Older generations in particular use this to prepare for emergencies.

The older the generation, the greater the need for security

78 percent of those eligible to vote want Switzerland to be independent of food imports. 70 percent are willing to bear the additional costs of Swiss-made products. What is missing is an intergenerational consensus. The older the generation, the greater the need for security, the lower the price sensitivity, and the greater the awareness of the connection between sustainability and nutrition. Older generations also have a clear idea of ​​how they intend to deal with growing uncertainties. Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2009) lacks a clear strategy here. One finds emergency supply unnecessary, one does not want to pay more for locally produced goods. At the same time, however, one wishes for independence from other countries.

War and pandemic give a new meaning to emergency supplies. About half of those eligible to vote in Switzerland say they have an emergency supply. However, it is the older generations in particular that are prepared for emergencies. For those people who stocked up on their emergency supplies recently, the corona pandemic was a bigger factor than the war in Ukraine. When it comes to food security issues, the majority of the population would like Switzerland to be independent and tend to be willing to pay some additional costs for it.

Generation Z has little awareness of nutritional problems

More than three quarters of those eligible to vote are interested in nutrition and exercise. While 77 percent of women feel knowledgeable about nutrition, the figure is 61 percent for men. However, interest and information about nutrition and exercise are declining. The trend is clearly in the direction of less established nutritional abilities. For example, the proportion of those who eat vegetables, salad or fruit several times a day has decreased significantly. In 2022, 32 percent of those surveyed said they eat three or more servings of vegetables, salad, or fruit a day. In 2014 it was still 60 percent.

Only four percent of those who have the right to vote regularly go abroad to buy

Although there is a strong preference for independence and security of supply, around 10 billion Swiss francs are purchased abroad each year. That’s more money than the Confederacy spends on national defense or agriculture. Such comparisons apparently fail to impress. Apparently there is no direct reference or urgency.

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