BUCHAREST, Romania — Official figures show Romanians spend proportionally more than twice the European Union average on food and non-alcoholic beverages.

In a report Tuesday, Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said Romanians spent 27.8 percent of their total household expenditure on those items last year. The average across the 28-country EU was only 12.2 percent.

Catalin Stoica, a sociology professor at the National School for Political and Administrative Sciences, told The Associated Press that higher levels of poverty in Romania were behind the numbers.

Some Romanians say anxiety stemming from the communist era when food was rationed lies behind their spending patterns.

Lithuania was second behind Romania in the EU with food accounting for 21.6 percent of household spending, while Britain spent the least with 8.2 percent.