9 in 10 Australians aged 16+ do not eat enough vegetables: study
3rd Aug 2012
It appears that not enough Australians are eating a healthy, balanced diet full of the right vitamins and minerals, according to a new report.
Australia's Food and Nutrition 2012 was released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on July 17 and provides a comprehensive insight into the eating habits of the nation.
While we may consider ourselves to be a healthy bunch, unfortunately the results suggest otherwise.
The researchers found that nine in ten Australians aged over 16 years do not eat enough vegetables, meaning that this 90 per cent are not eating the recommended amount of five servings of veggies per day.
In addition, the report revealed that people were eating too many treat foods, also referred to by the AIHW as 'extra foods', suggesting that they are superfluous to a nutritional diet.
Treat foods are considered to be items such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, crisps, lollies, soft drinks and alcohol.
These options were found to make up 36 per cent of an adult's daily energy intake, and 41 per cent of a child's.
AIHW spokesperson Lisa McGlynn said that this shows people may need to rethink their eating habits if they want to stay healthy.
"The report shows that many Australians are not striking a balance between foods high in fat and sugar and more nutritious choices," she said on July 17.
These findings come after another report from the AIHW, Australia's Health 2012, identified obesity and physical inactivity as a problem.
"Australia has one of the highest rates of obesity: the latest figures show, one in four Australian adults and one in 12 children were obese," AIHW director and chief executive David Kalisch said on June 19.
Combine the results from the food and nutrition report with that of the one above and it is evident that the nation needs to make some changes to the way it eats if it wants to see obesity decline.
Ms McGlynn said that the cost of eating healthily may be partly to blame for the weight gain and poor diet choices.
"The cost of healthy food is increasing at a faster rate than the cost of less healthy food, particularly in remote areas, where a healthy basket of food can cost up to 30 per cent more than in capital cities. This may influence some people to buy less healthy foods due to limited choice and high cost," she explained.
If you are looking to improve the way you eat, it could be a good idea to consult a doctor or a dietitian.
This way you can work together with a professional to establish a diet that will help you on the road to better health.
In some situations, taking dietary supplements may provide you with important nutrients such as iron, omega-3s and vitamins that you could be missing out on.