`Olive Oil 'Indispensable' for Most Italians, Survey Reveals


Olive Oil 'Indispensable' for Most Italians, Survey Reveals

Mar. 31, 2020
Paolo DeAndreis

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Olive oil remains an indis­pens­able item in most Ital­ian kitchens, accord­ing to a recent sur­vey by the mar­ket research firm, Nomisma. Sixty-four per­cent of respon­dents said they would never give up extra vir­gin olive oil.

Sur­vey par­tic­i­pants said they pre­ferred olive oil over other cook­ing oils for its taste, healthy prop­er­ties and the asso­ci­ated cul­ture. Many respon­dents pegged olive oil as an inte­gral part of the Mediter­ranean diet.

The sur­vey, which was funded by the Ital­ian life and health insur­ance com­pany, Unisalute, asked a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of 1,000 Ital­ians about their eat­ing, exer­cis­ing and well-being habits.

Along with Ital­ians’ pro­cliv­ity for olive oil, the sur­vey also found that sev­eral other impor­tant ingre­di­ents in the Mediter­ranean diet were seen as indis­pens­able. Sea­sonal veg­eta­bles were deemed essen­tial by 53 per­cent of respon­dents and 40 per­cent said they ate fresh fruit mul­ti­ple times per day.

See more: Olive Oil Health Ben­e­fits

Over­all, one in three par­tic­i­pants said that nutri­tious eat­ing habits are a vehi­cle for well-being and a way to stay healthy, while 69 per­cent said they viewed food as a source of sat­is­fac­tion and hap­pi­ness.


Among the most inter­est­ing results of the research is the con­scious­ness and knowl­edge that Ital­ians seem to show when they are asked about their rela­tion­ship with food and eat­ing,” Sil­via Zuc­coni, the head of mar­ket­ing intel­li­gence at Nomisma, said.

The results of the sur­vey demon­strated a close rela­tion­ship between healthy food choices and other healthy behav­iors, such as exer­cis­ing and fol­low­ing doc­tors’ advice.

Respon­dents who made healthy choices regard­ing their daily diet were also more likely to undergo reg­u­lar health checks than respon­dents who did not.

In my expe­ri­ence, com­pli­ance by my patients in fol­low­ing a ther­apy at home is much harder to achieve if he or she indulges in unhealthy nutri­tional behav­iors,” Roberto Tabacci, a doc­tor in Rome, told Olive Oil Times. I cer­tainly believe there is a con­nec­tion between healthy food choices and more gen­eral healthy behav­iors”.

Con­versely, nearly half of respon­dents did not con­sider obe­sity to be one of the main risks of incor­rect nutri­tion and another 75 per­cent said they did not con­sider car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases to be one either.

One in five of the respon­dents, who admit­ted to hav­ing unhealthy eat­ing habits, said they’d pre­fer to go to the doc­tor as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. Only 31 per­cent of respon­dents said they had been to the doc­tor for a med­ical exam­i­na­tion in the past year.

The abil­ity of many Ital­ians to under­stand which are the health­ier food choices does not always line up with their gen­eral behav­iors and there is still so much to do,” Zuc­coni said. In Italy, many deaths are still related to bad habits like smok­ing or unhealthy eat­ing.”

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