Increasing obesity risk in Russia

The obesity crisis proclaimed by the World Health Organization, along with all its health consequences, started in the Russian Federation at the beginning of the millennium. This fact is gaining increasing significance against the background of the „tax on unhealthy foods“ that is currently being discussed in Russia and is the result of changing lifestyle and nutritional habits. In the IAMO Policy Brief 27 titled „Economic transformation, altered nutritional habits and health implications in Russia“ Dr. Christine Burggraf, researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), and Professor Thomas Glauben, Director of IAMO, give reasons for this and make recommendations for action.

The studies show that rising economic growth and private incomes in Russia have brought about an increase in the consumption of high-fat animal products, and the health of many citizens is jeopardized by an increased risk of adiposity and diet-related chronic diseases. At the same time, health-related diets have improved in terms of vitamin and mineral intake. These two opposing developments are typically also found in other industrial and emerging economies, though in a more distinctive form in the Russian Federation.

Burggraf and Glauben explain this by referring to the traditionally rather high preferences for high-fat animal products in Russian society, but also, similar to many other countries, inadequate nutrition information. To pave the way to healthier eating, they therefore recommend, in addition to a diverse food supply as well as nutrition programs to improve communal-feeding menu offers, better-targeted information campaigns for the provision of adequate nutrition knowledge and clear product labelling, which provides comprehensive information about the nutritional value of a food.

The IAMO Policy Brief 27 titled “Economic transformation, altered nutritional habits and health implications in Russia” is available for download on the IAMO webpage:

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More information
Burggraf, Christine; Glauben, Thomas (2016) Economic transformation, altered nutritional habits and health implications in Russia. IAMO Policy Brief No. 27, Halle (Saale).

IAMO Policy Briefs
The publication series IAMO Policy Brief is published at irregular intervals and provides a platform for research findings and outcomes of the Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO) with social relevance to be communicated accessibly and entertainingly to a broad audience. Key target groups include political decision-makers, mass media representatives and the general public.

About IAMO
The Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) analyzes economic, social and political processes of change in the agricultural and food sector, and in rural areas. The geographic focus covers the enlarging EU, transition regions of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, as well as Central and Eastern Asia. IAMO works to enhance the understanding of institutional, structural and technological changes. Moreover, IAMO studies the resulting impacts on the agricultural and food sector as well as the living conditions of rural populations. The outcomes of our work are used to derive and analyze strategies and options for enterprises, agricultural markets and politics. Since its founding in 1994, IAMO has been part of the Leibniz Association, a German community of independent research institutes.

Academic contact
Dr. Christine Burggraf
Tel.: +49 345 2928-223
Fax: +49 345 2928-299

Media Contact at IAMO
Britta Paasche
Public Relations
Tel.: +49 345 2928-329
Fax: +49 345 2928-499

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