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Wednesday's papers: Poor diets, snow fuss and Pitkämäki grumbles

Finland's papers on Wednesday carry stories about Finns' less-than-perfect diet, various news from the front in Finland's newly-declared war on snow, and reaction to Tero Pitkämäki's award as sportsperson of the year at the Finnish sport world's annual gala dinner.

Daily newspapers.
Image: E.D.Hawkins / Yle

The Nordic diet has been in the news as one of the healthiest around, but Helsingin Sanomat reports today that the ideal version does not quite reflect the reality. According to a new report from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Finns don't follow dietary recommendations as closely as the health agency's boffins would like.

In particular researchers' interviews with nearly 2,000 Finnish people revealed that on average they don't eat enough vegetables (they should aim for half a kilo each day), they eat too much salt (salt intake should be under 5 grams a day), they eat too much saturated fat, and far too much meat and meat products.

Satu Männistö from THL has simple advice for most people: eat more rye bread. With margarine and alongside plenty of fruit and veg, the Finnish dark bread is one of the nation's superfoods and helps ensure people get enough fibre.

Snow chaos continues

Ilta-Sanomat is still excited about the belated arrival of winter in southern Finland, and it has news that the end of winter will be snowier than usual. It also has a happy report from one of southern Finland's many sledging hills, and advice for those looking to clear snow: stand up straight and keep your shovel level.

Helsingin Sanomat, meanwhile, has a page full of readers' photos from in among the snow chaos. As of 8:50am, the top story on the hs.fi website was 'Snow chaos doesn't happen after all--driving conditions normal'.

Further down the page the preview story was still up: 'Half of train services cancelled--driving conditions still very bad on Wednesday'.

Pitkämäki provokes with sports gala win

On Tuesday evening javelin thrower Tero Pitkämäki was crowned sportsperson of the year at a gala dinner in Helsinki. He won a bronze medal at the World Championships this year, and is one of Finland's best-known sportspeople, but he still had a worse year than many of his rivals. The audience voting had him in eleventh place, well behind the wrestler Petra Olli and the snowboarder Roope Tonteri, among others.

Sports journalists, it seems, are out of step with the rest of Finland's sporting public, and they have a peculiar obsession with the rather esoteric discipline of javelin. It was Pitkämäki's third time as sportsperson of the year, and many felt it was someone else's turn.

In Ilta-Sanomat Juha Kanerva expressed the hope that the electorate would move with the times a little.

"Hopefully modern Finland will be able to evaluate sportspeople's abilities with other metrics than medals in major competitions," wrote Kanerva. "In an age when significantly more people take part in ultimate frisbee and bouldering than ski-jumping or javelin, Finland's sporting public needs to update its values. In 2016 sport will be happening in many other places than Rio de Janeiro."

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