Declining fish consumption is said to be a cause for concern

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Young people's fish consumption is declining and if nothing is done, it will continue to decline in the coming years. It was stated that eating habits in childhood have a formative effect on consumption later on. There are also differences in fish consumption by region, with young women seeming to like fish and vegetables, while young men are more fond of fast food and meat. Einar K. Guðfinnsson, Minister of Fisheries, who took part in the meeting, said that the results of this study were a matter of concern.

He said the study should be an incentive for people to do better in these matters.

Matís' study included young people between the ages of 17 and 26, and the results indicate that Icelanders will eat even less fish in the future than they do today if nothing is done. Young people eat fish as a main course on average just over once a week, which is well below the fish consumption recommended by the Public Health Institute. Fish consumption of this age group has decreased significantly in recent years. The research is a collaborative project of Matís ohf., The Social Sciences Institute of the University of Iceland, the Laboratory of Nutrition at Landspítali University Hospital and the company Icelandic Services. The project examined the consumption habits of young people (17-26) years old in Iceland. The survey included attitudes towards health, fish consumption, consumption of other foods, purchase of fish and also tastes in different fish dishes. Factors affecting fish consumption were asked, from where consumers get information about fish and the trust they place in such information.

An analysis of young people's attitudes towards food and health revealed three separate consumption groups. The smallest group is 18% of the total and its consumption is shaped by health and interest in cooking. This group eats fish. The next group (39%) are usually men who eat the food set for them but prefer meat and fast food. The largest group (43%) are mostly women who enjoy eating fish but are unsure about how to cook it. The family is a strong influence on fish consumption but it was found that eating habits in childhood have a formative effect on young people's fish consumption and also their residence youth. It was also found that the proportion of people who are evicted from their parents' homes eat the least amount of fish. There also seems to be a difference in fish consumption by region, but people in rural areas do not have as easy access to fish shops or fresh fish tables in supermarkets as people in the capital area. As a result, people in rural areas do not have as many fish dishes to choose from in shops and prefer to eat traditional fish species and dishes.

The sample of the study was 1,735 people and the response rate was 86.7%. The research project is funded by the AVS research fund in the fisheries sector.

The Minister of Fisheries at a press conference on the results of the study at the Maritime Museum.

Photo: Einar K. Guðfinnsson, Minister of Fisheries, at a press conference at the Maritime Museum on the results of the study.

Attitudes and fish consumption of young people aged 18 to 25 - Descriptive statistical analysis