Daily price of balanced, healthy diet reaches 600 liras in Turkey – Duvar English

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Duvar English

The soaring food inflation in Turkey has made healthy and balanced diets increasingly expensive for the public, resulting in nutrition-related diseases. 

While the global average for food inflation is 4.2% in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and 2% in European countries, it is 70.4% in Turkey.

Dr. Özden Çırpar, a board member of the Ankara Medical Chamber (ATO), highlighted that food inflation is one of the most significant issues adversely affecting public health.

Speaking to the daily Cumhuriyet, Çırpar stated that food prices in Turkey were rising, despite the global downward trend.  

According to union calculations, the cost of healthy and balanced nutrition has approached 600 lira (18.6 dollars) per day in Turkey. 

The amount surpassed the net daily minimum wage of 566.75 liras. 

“Today, a family of four can barely live at the hunger threshold even with more than the minimum wage,” said the doctor.

According to Çırpar, inadequate and unbalanced nutrition can cause symptoms and illnesses such as fatigue, weakness, depression, hair loss due to zinc and iron deficiency, frequent illnesses due to a weakened immune system, constipation, edema, tooth decay or osteoporosis due to calcium and vitamin D deficiency, and anemia from iron and folic acid deficiency.

High food prices lead citizens to opt for budget-friendly meals high in carbohydrates, fat, and simple sugars. However, these cheaper diets lacked nutrients. 

Çırpar warned that the lack of protein, fresh vegetables, or fruit on the tables caused health problems associated with obesity, such as hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. 

One in three people in Turkey were considered obese, according to the report on Methods and Measures to Combat Obesity presented to the parliament. 

In October 2023, Turkey ranked fourth globally in terms of the highest rate of food price inflation, according to the World Bank’s Food Security Update. 

The report stated that food prices in Turkey increased by 14% in real terms, and 76% nominally over a year.

Turkey’s food price inflation is a continuing trend, in tandem with the cost-of-life crisis. The hunger threshold reached 19,926 Turkish liras ($619) in May, exceeding the minimum wage by 2,924 liras ($90) according to the Birleşik Kamu-İş labor unions confederation’s research.

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