Survey: Israelis Consume Too Many Carbohydrates, Not Enough Calcium

Israel Central Bureau of Statistics data compares Israeli food consumption habits with U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommendations.

Israelis consume an excessive amount of vitamins, carbohydrates and protein, while they don't get enough calcium, according to data released Sunday by the Central Bureau of Statistics, which compares Israeli habits to the recommendations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Israelis consume an average of 470 grams of carbohydrates a day, the CBS data shows, which is 1.6 times the FDA's recommended daily intake of 300 grams. They also eat twice as much protein daily than necessary, an average of 111 grams, compared to the recommended 50 grams.

Tnuva, cottage cheese - Olivier Pitoussi
Olivier Pitoussi

Israelis are also overdoing it on vitamin consumption. For example, each Israeli consumes an average of 38.8 milligrams of Vitamin B a day, while the recommended intake is 17.2 milligrams. The average daily consumption of Vitamin C in Israel is 209 milligrams, while the FDA recommendation is 60.

By contrast, Israelis aren't getting enough calcium. While the FDA recommendation is 1,000-1,200 milligrams a day, the average Israeli consumes only 844 milligrams, not including the calcium added to certain processed foods by manufacturers.

The data published Sunday by the CBS also shows a gap in the monthly outlay on food between socioeconomic strata. Thus, a household in the top decile, which has an average of 2.4 people, spends 1.7 times what a household in the lowest decile spends on food, even though the poorer household has an average of 4.4 members.

The outlay for special breads in the top decile is three times the outlay for such breads by the lowest decile, while the lower decile spends 4.5 times as much on pita bread as the highest decile.

Other data show that fruits and vegetables have been leading the increase in food prices for the past 18 months. The hikes in food prices since a year and a half ago: Fresh vegetables, up 24 percent; fresh fruit, 19.9 percent; sugar, 11.8 percent; alcoholic drinks, 11.8 percent; and beef, 6.8 percent.