Queensland, whatcha gonna do with all that junk?
New research has put a spotlight on Queenslanders not meeting the recommended daily intake for any of the five food groups.
Advanced Public Health Nutritionist Mathew Dick said unhealthy foods or drinks made up a significant proportion of the Queensland diet.
“In Queensland, more than a third of total daily energy is consumed from unhealthy foods and drinks,” he said.
“This is a really concerning amount given the current rates of obesity in Queensland – one in four children, and two in three adults are overweight or obese.
“While we’re doing everything we can to change these statistics from a policy perspective, Queenslanders really need to do more to consume a nutritional and balanced diet.
“Combined dietary factors were the second largest cause of health loss in Queensland in 2011, and I anticipate this hasn’t changed over the years.
“We know Queensland adults and children are choosing food and drinks that are highly processed, energy-dense and nutrient-poor, instead of the nutrient rich core food groups necessary for a long and healthy life.
“Eating a nutritious and balanced diet has numerous health benefits, including protection against chronic diseases, disability and premature death.
“It also provides for healthy weight, physical and mental health, resistance to infection, and overall quality of life.
“I am encouraging all Queenslanders to make more of an effort to meet the recommended daily intake for the five food groups.”
Mr Dick said the research highlighted various findings, some more alarming than others.
“While 87 percent of kids aged two to four years met the daily recommendation for intake of grain and cereal products, 93 percent of that intake was from unhealthy foods such as pastries, cakes and sweet biscuits,” he said.
“Only 1 percent of Queenslanders aged 65 and older consume the recommended amount of milk, yoghurt cheese and/or alternatives from healthy foods.
“Alarmingly, just 0.6 percent of kids aged five to 17 years met the daily recommendation for consuming vegetables and legume/beans from healthy foods.
“Around three quarters of kids aged two to four years met the recommendation for consuming fruit from healthy foods daily, but that number dropped to just one quarter for the 18 to 64 years age range.”
The “Are Queenslanders meeting the Australian dietary guidelines?” research is available on the Queensland Health website.
The data in this research has informed content for the 2018 Health of Queensland Report, set to be released next month.
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