- The CSIRO asked more than 235,000 Australians about what they eat
- Those surveyed barely scraped a pass, with an average score of 55 out of 100
- Only four in 10 adults eat three or more different vegetables at their main meal
Only two in five Australians are eating enough vegetables, a report by the CSIRO has revealed. Over an eight-year period, the CSIRO Healthy Diet Score study polled over 235,000 Australian people.
It discovered that just 35% of the population consumes adequate vegetables and that alcohol, fast food, and sweets dominate diets.
Healthy diet According to the report, construction employees had the lowest diets, while retirees and those in the fitness business ate the healthiest.
The report assessed compliance with the Australian Dietary Guidelines based on nine characteristics, including quantity, quality, and diversity of foods consumed, and assigned a score out of 100.
The closer to 100, the healthier the diet.
Healthy diet Report co-author Gilly Hendrie said those surveyed had only scraped a pass, with an average diet score of 55 out of 100.
“The score serves as a stark reminder of the work that still needs to be done to improve our eating habits and reduce the national waistline.”
According to the report, discretionary foods were the lowest-scoring area of diet quality across all age groups and genders, with a score of 20 out of 100 at around 28 servings per week.
Healthy diet The most significant contributors were discovered to be alcohol, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, confectionery, and takeaway foods.
The average vegetable score was 58 out of 100, with only four out of every ten persons stating that they consume three or more different vegetables at their main meal – an indicative of a healthy diet.
Beverages was the highest-scoring category, with survey respondents scoring 93 out of 100, primarily by preferring water over soft drinks and juices.
Construction workers and employees in the beauty and fashion industries ate the most junk food, according to the research, with 45 serves each week.
Women had a somewhat better diet quality than males, but they consumed significantly more vegetables.
“Improving our collective score is critical to improving our wellbeing, addressing Australia’s obesity crisis, and mitigating lifestyle diseases like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers,” Dr. Hendrie added.
How to improve your diet
The research, according to Lauren Ball, professor of Community Health and Wellbeing at the University of Queensland, was unsurprising.
“We’ve known for a long time that Australia is in a great position to eat well, but that’s not what we see when we look at the evidence in terms of the food that Australians eat right now.”
She said buying fresh produce and avoiding processed foods were easy ways to quickly improve diets.
“Veggies and fruits should be the cornerstone of our daily diet,” Prof
essor Ball said.
“Whenever you have a choice between a meal or an option that is higher or lower in vegetables or fruit, choose the one that is higher.”
“Anything that comes from the aisles that you walk up and down in supermarkets, as opposed to the outside area, anything that’s packaged and processed, they’ll be higher in sodium.”
Professor Ball stated that eating healthy on a budget is still possible by purchasing in season when a fruit or vegetable is in plentiful supply, which decreases the price.
“The easiest way to do that would probably be going to a farmers market,” s
“Planning ahead is another big recommendation that can save money as well, because you can eat well on a budget, it’s just a matter of thinking about the best way to do that and being prepared.”
Health is a form of riches.
Professor Ball stated that the ancient saying ‘you can’t place a price on your health’ had never been more true.
“In today’s day and age, we’re seeing that health is a really true indicator of overall prosperity,” she said.
“Anything we can do to support our own health and wellbeing is becoming increasingly important, and this should be at the top of all of our priorities in terms of the ways that we can look after ourselves.”