According to a new report, less than 5% of Australian adults consume the recommended amount of vegetables, while more than half are overweight or obese.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) study revealed Australians have poor dietary habits. We don’t consume enough vegetables and we eat too much high-energy, low-nutrient foods that include significant amounts of sugar, saturated fat and sodium.
In addition, we’re also lacking exercise, and combined with poor dietary choices, that’s resulting in Australians becoming overweight or obese.
Half of all Australians aged 19–50 don’t do enough exercise, while 97 per cent (%) don’t eat enough vegetables.
According to the AIHW’s report, these habits are developed as early as two years old and have been linked to the later development of chronic illnesses.
More than half of males aged 19–30 and 73% aged 31–50 are classified as overweight.
This is due to males consuming a disproportionate amount of sugary and salty foods from the age of 14 onwards.
The study produced similar results for females who showed a disregard for the recommended serves of the five food groups.
What can be done?
The AIHW’s report includes five key dietary guidelines that Australians can use to balance their health and wellbeing.
It provides advice on the types and amounts of food that are required to take care of your body and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Overall, it encourages a physically active lifestyle with a well-balanced diet.