‘A public health crisis’: This is how many Australians eat a healthy diet
“We’ve got two thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and a quarter of kids are overweight or obese. And alarmingly, only 7 per cent of Australians eat diets that are in line with the recommendations.”
The number of Australians consuming the recommended 5-6 serves of vegetables is less than 10 per cent. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics via Food Policy Index Australia.
Calls to more strongly counter influence of industry
In particular, they said intervention is needed to limit the marketing of unhealthy food to children and also to prevent the watering down of reforms, such as the healthy star food rating system, which was originally envisioned as a mandatory system but is now voluntary.
“We had a strategy in 2009 for Australia to be the healthiest country by 2020. If that had been well implemented, we wouldn’t be in this position. We would probably be leading the world in keeping people healthy ways and supporting them to have healthy diet.”
Two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, which equates to approximately 12.5 million people. Generally, men had higher rates of prevalence than woman – 75 per cent versus 60 per cent. Credit: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Inequities in socioeconomic status have meant certain populations are even more impacted by the prevalence of obesity. The groups include those at higher risk of chronic disease, such as Indigenous Australians and newly arrived migrants.
International researchers discuss solutions
“Countries in Latin America are leading the way. Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador have really looked at what are the key drivers here and what needs to be done by government.
“For example, in some places like Fiji, there’s imports of very fatty meat that are a real problem because they’re quite cheap, but are very, very high in energy. So each community has their own issues with food supply.”