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Polish Eating Habits

28 Dec 2007 #1
Most Poles consider themselves to be healthy eaters, but few take up special diets and fried meat is still the main dish on many Polish tables, show the results of CEBOS report. Despite warnings of physicians and media campaign, Polish eating habits have not undergone considerable changes during last fifteen years.

The consumption of vegetables and poultry increased considerably, consumption of fruits and dairy, such as yoghurts or cheese and rice has also slightly increased, but still the majority of Poles (61% of the people researched) think that the dishes they eat very much resemble the dishes of their parents’ cuisine. The opinion that Poles eat healthy food is very popular (65%) and some even think that the food they eat is very healthy (8%). “Subjective evaluation of own eating habits does not have to be justified by facts”, the report says. And so only 32% of the responders declared they eat fruit between the meals, similar number (38%) avoids unhealthy snacks e.g. chips and sweets. 78% of the persons researched eat regular meals but only 15% takes up any special diets for health improvement, and 11% for their good looking.

Poles are traditional in their attitude towards eating habits and cuisine. For the majority, an ideal dinner consist of a meat dish (82%) (pork chop is definitely the most popular, it was mentioned by every fourth of the responders), potatoes (58%), and soup (54%). But a significant number of the researched Poles have also mentioned vegetables (65%). The most popular meat in Poland is still pork; frying is still the most “valuable” method of meat preparation. Fish is definitely underestimated – fish meal would be chosen only by 7% of responders.

Very few Poles carefully read labels on food packaging. Almost half of them (44%) never check the ingredients of the products they buy: e.g. fat, sugar, and artificial preservatives content, and 29% does it on a rarely basis.

Very few buy so called “healthy food” as CBOS research shows, the tendency has not been changing for the past eight years. In comparison with the previous researches, only a percentage of people who check the expiry date of food has increased (from 31 to 40%). On the whole, the majority of Polish people still have tendency to eat fat and unhealthy food. In result, most of them have “discovered” doubtful advantages of fast – food restaurants and snacks, which slowly become the reason of obesity for more and more Polish people. Generally Poles eat at home, the habit of dining out is not very much popular, but the popularity of catering and take-away places slowly increases, especially in big cities.

A regular daily diet of an average Polish person consists of three main meals: breakfast, dinner, and supper. Breakfast is eaten early in the morning and consists mainly of sandwiches, scrambled eggs, some dairy products, and tea or coffee to drink. Dinner consists of two dishes: soup and the main dish; dinner is mainly eaten between 3 and 5 o’clock. Supper is eaten late, usually around 8 or 9 o’clock, and is similar to breakfast: many people “run” on sandwiches or some sort of a warm snacks.

Bad habit of nibbling on a snack is very popular among Poles and unfortunately the snacks are not too healthy. Poles would rather eat some chocolate or a packet of chips instead of an apple or some other digestive food. They also have a tendency to drinking a lot of bubbly soft drinks such as a coke and lemonades, instead of juices or plain mineral water. It also appears that Poles drink too much of heavy alcohol which definitely does not add to healthy eating habits.
plk123 8 | 4,138
28 Dec 2007 #2
Poles drink too much of heavy alcohol which definitely does not add to healthy eating habits.

na zdrowie! :)
JumpinJuniper 1 | 21
30 Dec 2007 #3
I think our food/beverage cravings are genetic. I have many polish relatives who are like me, if they miss a meal, you feel like you're going to faint.

+ we all love our beer!
Seanus 15 | 19,672
31 Dec 2007 #4
Polak głodny, Polak zły. Silesians love good, hearty meals. Perfect for winter!! I guess the same rings true for other areas. I've noticed, esp in Katowice, that Poles don't eat on the move that often. When they buy a zapiekanka, they tend to eat it at the stall where they bought it.
Gryzia 2 | 15
2 Jan 2008 #5
i cant be bothered to read it but i will and i will come back and give my opinion
Seanus 15 | 19,672
2 Jan 2008 #6
There is also a tendency to eat sunflower seeds like there's no tomorrow at football games. The covers are just thrown to the ground.
Mufasa 19 | 357
2 Jan 2008 #7
I don't see why Polish people have to start eating 'healthy'. They somehow burn all the kilojoules they absorb - walking their dogs in the park if nothing else! If you can get away with that, why not? I am awaiting a storm by the forum ...;)
Seanus 15 | 19,672
2 Jan 2008 #8
U terrible person Mufasa, hehehe
Mufasa 19 | 357
2 Jan 2008 #9
na zdrowie! *mufasa grows a tail, horns and gets hold of a huge three-pronged fork ;P hehehehe

you can't just say that mr S - why is that such a terrible thing?
JumpinJuniper 1 | 21
6 Jan 2008 #10
the high fat/calorie intake that we need gets burned off in no time. I have yet to meet any obiese polanders. Majority of us in USA and in Poland are generally lean and muscular. + I've noticed we are non lazy people, and probally the hardest of workers physically and mentally
osiol 55 | 3,921
6 Jan 2008 #11
I'm not sure about the exact terms on which people use the word obese, but I do know a Pole in Poland who is overweight and eats too much. I imagine it is something that is becoming more common.
JumpinJuniper 1 | 21
7 Jan 2008 #12
i kind of take that one back, i do know some who are short round and husky, and tall + husky, still not obiese though
osiol 55 | 3,921
7 Jan 2008 #13
still not obiese though

You should have seen the New Year dinner I had recently (in Poland). The food was piled high on the table. There was just about everything you could possibly think of. Including vodka, of course. Before starting the meal itself we were just sitting round the table, getting started on the drinks and chatting (those of us, or should I say, them, who have the ability to just chat in Polish).

So the drinks were flowing, but in anticipation of the fine meal we had ahead of us. Mr X. entered, slightly late. As soon as his arse hit the chair, food began to rapidly disappear in his direction. 'Oh!' the rest of us probably all thought. 'Better tuck in before he eats the lot on his own.'

The next evening, a bowl of snacks was strategically moved away from Mr. X. for similar reasons.

A completely different point is the presence of certain fast food chains in the country. They must have some sort of effect.
Puzzler 9 | 1,088
7 Jan 2008 #14
Polish Eating Habits

- Well, the main message of your post is that Polish 'eating habits' are bad, but in spite of this, we generally look healthier - above all slimmer - than some other nations in Europe, including those that preach a lot about healthy diet. So...?

Mr X

- Do you mean he is obese and that many Poles look like him?
anja_rose 3 | 37
8 Jan 2008 #15
ok heres aquestion, fi all the above is true then why are most polish people, notably girls, so slim!!??
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,506
8 Jan 2008 #16
why are most polish people, notably girls, so slim!!??

changing fast. friend of mine got a good job, had disposable income, ate out more often, excersised less and swelled like a ballon
krysia 23 | 3,058
8 Jan 2008 #17
They walk more in Poland, waiting for the bus or tramwaj takes energy, walking to the store, going up the stairs, preparing the meal etc. If you eat out you don't know what you're eating.
angel 14 | 86
8 Jan 2008 #18
is it true the polish do not eat out often-why is this?
Seanus 15 | 19,672
8 Jan 2008 #19
They eat out less than other countries I guess. Poles love staple foods like potatoes, veggies etc and can make some really good food at home. The tradition of producing quality home cooking is well established here in Poland. Also, the money factor. Going to milk bars and eating the food they like is still quite popular but not to expensive places unless they are business people.
impamiiz - | 13
12 Jan 2008 #20
I guess most Poles I've met love sausages. Other than that there was one obsessed with pickled things (egg, ghurkins, red cabbage, you name it).

It made me lol.
Dice 15 | 452
13 Jan 2008 #21
I have yet to meet any obiese polanders.

Here is my theory on how it works; polish food is so bad for you, it will kill you before you even get fat LOL! Think about it - Polish Cuisine is made up from breaded fried pork, potato and bread with butter. it's a guaranteed death by cholesterol :)

BTW, is there such a think as a salad in Polish Cuisine?
Eurola 4 | 1,902
13 Jan 2008 #22
Poles enjoy home made whole foods. As someone said above, it takes time to go to the store (often walk), walk around, shop, come home, prepare a meal. All of it takes energy. So, even having a pork chop with potatoes (yumm), will get burned. Don't forget that you've gotta do the dishes after all... It's all about "moving'. Walking is the best exercise there is.

However, if you prefer to get a pizza on the way home or a burger and then spend your evening on the couch watching TV then your a## will balloon in no time.

I agree with the luck of good salads and vegetables. Even when they appear on the plate, they are "killed" with butter and brad crumbs anyway. My old fashioned family still tends to cook this way, but they are fit and healthy anyway. My sister-in-law is pretty huge, but she can eat the whole roasted chicken, if she feels like it!

Over all, it's all about quantity, no matter what's on the plate.
14 Jan 2008 #23
I think that the main point is that 15 years ago Poles were prob eating more healthily. The increase of prepacked food, fast food and takeaway places has changed peoples diets, simply because it is easier and readily available - and the people are not looking at the content of the food they are eating and think that it is ok. Polish food might be fatty, but it is often fresh and homemade and people aren't as lazy - they work it off. Still the problem remains that pre-prepared food is not good for us! (Bravo to the Poles for not being interested in Microwave meals. I'm from the UK and these are far too popular for my liking!).

I have noticed that there is a low percentage of obese adults in Poland, but more and more i see young fat Polish kids....
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893
14 Jan 2008 #24
15 years ago in the UK people eat better - less take-aways, less pre-packed rubbish and now look at the country, its quite funny that all the take-aways are Indian, Italian, Chinese...its not actually English food thats making us fat, English food traditionally consists of meat and 2 veg, not dissimilar to Polish food, let it be a warning to Polish people...and whilst someone might look slim and healthy on the outside, fat sticks to the arteries and thats the killer!
djf 18 | 166
14 Jan 2008 #25
Proper English food is a killer. The amount of fat, lard and dripping used in traditional english cooking has vastly increased heart disease and strokes in the UK.

I remember my grandmother siphoning off the gravy and juices from the roast to use as a spread on bread after it had conjealed.
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893
14 Jan 2008 #26
I suppose its down to eating habbits and as Eurola said, the portion size, I grew up with traditional english fair and still cook - no fat in pea and ham soup, no fat in braising steak with onions, no fat in liver & onions....poached eggs instead of nasty fried food...and people in the UK eat more veggies and fresh food 20 years ago than they do now, I certainly dont remember eating anything processed when I was growing up and I can tell you now there are no processed foods in my fridge or freezer
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544
14 Jan 2008 #27
The "shape" of a national cuisine is determined by the environment you live in. Try to feed an Eskimo only with Mediterranean food and vice versa, an Mediterranean with pure lard. The latter will probably die on heart attack and the Eskimo will fall on his face in no time, because the lack of required energy. Polish and English cuisine are the way they were meant to be.
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893
14 Jan 2008 #28
its funny you say that, I was reading an article and it mentioned that whilst tofu is healthy, its not so good for people in the West simple because its not a food we are used to and dont have the enzymes to break it down, therefore too much isn't beneficial to our health.
outintheyard 27 | 517
14 Feb 2008 #29
Thread attached on merging:
How does Poland stand up to the world in obesity?

The US has to be one of the most overweight countries with men and women the same
El Gato 4 | 351
14 Feb 2008 #30
+ we all love our beer!

Wodka was a gift from God....Why should we treat it like anything else?

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