Antifake / Factcheck

11 June

MP Compared Affordability of Healthy Diet in Belarus, Neighboring Countries, and U.S. Fact-Check Reveals How Many Times She Was Wrong

The information presented by Deputy Volkova on air is publicly available.

The deputy of Belarus’s House of Representatives, Yulia Volkova, appears to have made a false claim that the number of people who cannot afford healthy food in Belarus is 5 to 9 times lower than in neighboring countries. Weekly Top Fake journalists checked if this was true.

The state-owned channel “Belarus–4” of the Gomel Television and Radio Company featured a discussion about the quality of Belarusians’ nutrition in the context of domestic food security on June 7, 2024. The deputy of the House of Representatives, Yulia Volkova, reported that healthy food is less accessible to citizens in neighboring countries than in Belarus.

“At the same time, the share of Belarusians who cannot afford healthy food is one of the lowest in the world — 0.2%. By the way, in Poland, the share of such kind of citizens is 5 times higher, in Lithuania — 6 times higher, in the U.S. — 7.5 times higher, and in Latvia — 9 times higher,” the deputy said.

FAO’s Affordability of a Healthy Diet data differs from that one announced by Julia Volkova. According to the 2021 statistics, the most recent data, the share of those who cannot afford a healthy diet in Belarus is 0.5%. The deputy states it is 2.5 times less. There is the same share in Poland, against 5 times higher claimed by Volkova. Lithuania has slightly higher data, but only 1.5 times, not 6. In the U.S., it is 2.5 times higher, not 7.5. And 3 times higher in Latvia — not 9. Thus, Volkova underestimated all countries.

Among EU countries, Finland, Slovenia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Belgium, and others have a better Affordability of a Healthy Diet level than Belarus. However, the situation in Russia is 5 times worse compared to Belarus.

The information presented by Deputy Volkova on air is publicly available. Its source is the Academy of Management under the President of the Republic of Belarus. The report is based on data from government-aligned agencies and is intended for distribution during the Unified Information Days. The Academy authors used FAO data for 2020. Since then, Belarus’ rating has deteriorated. And the difference between countries has decreased.

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