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Eating Planet 2012 - Edizione Inglese

Eating Planet 2012 - Edizione Inglese

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Published by Federica Marra

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Published by: Federica Marra on May 25, 2012
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The generic Double Pyramid is aimed primarily at adults, so we also explored
the concept of the Double Pyramid for growing children and adolescents.

figure 3.7

The ecological footprint of foods (global square meter per kg or liter of food)

Source: BCFN, 2011.

100

50

25

15

109

93

86

71

66

40

28

25

19

18

16

16

15
15
13

13
12

7

4

4
3

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90100

110

160

/

legend

cooking

min.

max.

average value + cooking

Beef

Cheese

Butter

Fish

Margarine

Oil

Pork

Poultry

Legumes

Sweets

Yogurt

Eggs

Pasta

Milk

Cookies

Breakfast Cereal

Rice

Bread

Fruit

Potatoes

Vegetables

125

the double pyramid | food for sustainable growth

figure 3.8

How the ecological footprint varies as a function of food choices

Source: BCFN, 2011.

vegetarian menu

total
kcal

g CO2 eq

2,030
2,095

meat menu

total
kcal

g CO2 eq

2,140
6,455

Breakfast
1 Portion of fruit (200 g)
4 Zwieback toasts

195 g CO2 eq

Breakfast
1 Cup of low‑fat milk
4 Cookies

250 g CO2 eq

Snack
1 Portion of low‑fat yogurt
1 Packet of unsalted crackers

145 g CO2 eq

Snack
1 Portion of low‑fat yogurt

140 g CO2 eq

Dinner
1 Portion of vegetables: steamed green beans (200 g)
and potatoes (400 g) with grated cheese (40 g)

990 g CO2 eq

Dinner
1 Portion of vegetable soup/pasta with peas
1 Grilled beef steak (150 g)
1 Slice of bread

4,210 g CO2 eq

Lunch
1 Portion of pasta with fennel
1 Portion of squash and leek quiche

555 g CO2 eq

Lunch
1 Portion of cheese pizza, mixed
green salad

1,720 g CO2 eq

Mid‑morning snack
1 Portion low‑fat yogurt
1 Fruit

210 g CO2 eq

Mid‑morning snack
1 Portion of fruit (200 g)

135 g CO2 eq

Protein

14%

Protein

15%

Carbohydrates

56%

Carbohydrates

60%

Fats

30%

Fats

25%

126

eating planet

figure 3.9

The recommended breakdown of daily caloric intake for children and adolescents

Source: BCFN, 2011.

Lunch 35%

Breakfast 20%

Mid‑morning
snack 5%

Afternoon snack 10%

Dinner 30%

There are three critical factors that should be avoided during adolescence to
lower the risk of chronic disease during adulthood:
• developing bad eating habits, consuming alcohol and tobacco, or gaining
excessive weight;
• adopting a sedentary lifestyle, such as spending one’s free time watching TV,
playing videogames, or in front of the computer instead of engaging in physical
activity;
• neglecting prevention or ignoring risk factors, such as by failing to monitor-
ing the adolescent’s weight or scheduling checkups with a pediatrician.

In combination these three factors can rapidly produce obesity, insulin resis-
tance, dyslipidaemia, and arterial hypertension. They can also generate long-
term effects, such as an acceleration of the processes that lead to diabetes and to
cardiovascular diseases in adulthood.

poor nutrition and chronic diseases. But even considering diet alone, it
has been clearly shown that there is a strong link between poor nutrition, exces-
sive body weight, and increased risk of contracting chronic diseases. While the
public is fairly well aware of this correlation in the case of adults, the crucial
importance of diet in the prevention of many diseases in children and young
people is less widely understood.
Figures 3.9 and 3.10 illustrate the daily allocation of calories and the makeup of
an optimal weekly diet, based on nutritionists’ and pediatricians’ understand-
ing of the nutrients needed for proper development in various phases of growth.

making farms and forests coexist

Teaching how to make farm crops and forest harvests
coexist is the objective of the World Agroforestry Centre
(ICRAF), which works in Kenya to spread land management
models designed to ensure better living conditions for
the poorest farmers. Agroforestry methods improve soil
and water availability, while at the same time, increasing
the variety of food, fuel, and fodder provided by farms.

128

eating planet

figure 3.10

The optimal weekly breakdown of food intake for children and adolescents

Source: BCFN, 2011.

Consumption of cereal grains
(bread, pasta, and rice), especially
whole grains

Consumption of meat

Consumption of eggs

Consumption of fruit
and vegetables

Consumption of fish

Consumption of legumes

Consumption of cheese

ONE EVERY TWO WEEKS

AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK

2/3 TIMES A WEEK

AT LEAST THREE TIMES A WEEK

TWICE A WEEK

Consumption of milk
and dairy products

EVERY DAY

EVERY DAY

EVERY DAY

A proper diet will contain a lot of day-to-day variety: a mixture of foods that
includes plant-based foodstuffs (fruit, vegetables, legumes, cereal grains, seeds,
etc.) and animal-based foods (meat, cheese, dairy products, ham, etc.).
Despite these recommendations, numerous international studies show that poor
eating habits are widespread among children aged 6 to 10 and that those habits
tend to undermine proper growth and predispose them to weight gain. Only 1
percent of all children consume portions and varieties of food that are nutrition-
ally optimal. The same studies also show that the daily caloric intake observed for
most school-aged children is not only greater than their needs, but is also prin-

129

the double pyramid | food for sustainable growth

cipally oriented toward the consumption of fats and sugars, instead of fruits and
vegetables. This is especially true of children with a tendency toward obesity.
Based on the information we’ve described in these pages, the BCFN has con-
structed a nutritional pyramid that is used in the development of the Double
Pyramid applicable to children (particularly from the age of two) and adoles-
cents (figure 3.11). (The needs of youth are comparable in terms of frequency of
consumption to those of adults). As with adults, the diet for children and ado-
lescents ought to be based prevalently on plants, and in particular the various
cereal grains, especially whole and unrefined grains, as well as fruits and vege-
tables. These are very important because of their fiber content and the presence
of nutrients that protect against disease. Moving up the pyramid, we find milk
and dairy products (preferably in low-fat versions), as well as meats and fish,
until we finally come to products with higher fat and sugar content. For these
products, a relatively low frequency of consumption is recommended. The need
for unsaturated fats should be met with fish and dried fruit, preferably utilizing
plant oils as a condiment.
Table 3.1 summarizes the BCFN’s exploration of the research on the nutritional
needs of growing children in a set of broad guidelines for achieving a diet and
lifestyle suited to the proper and healthy development of children and adolescents.

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