October 11-17 marks National Nutrition Week, and this year, the focus is on vegetables, and in particular, “trying for five”. That’s five serves of veges per day – something only 4% of Australians are getting.
In this blog post we’ll have a look at the statistics around diet and obesity in Australia, and examine why the focus is on vegetables this year.
What are the stats?
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) less than one in 10 adults met the recommendations for daily vegetable consumption in 2017-18. Those recommendations, as outlined by Nutrition Australia for National Nutrition Week, are to eat five 75gm serves of vegetables every day.
Unfortunately we’re eating far too many serves of discretionary foods each day – around five to seven according to AIHW. So that’s foods that have poor nutritional content such as processed food, foods high in saturated fat and sugar, and alcohol.
How do those stats translate to our health?
Not well. Obesity is on the rise, with one in three Australian adults weighing in as obese in 2017-18, a huge increase from 1995 when it was one in five (AIHW).
Obesity is also more prevalent than it has been in the past in children and young people, and in the Indigenous population.
As a result, more than 22,000 Australians per year undergo weight loss surgery, more than double the number compared to 2005-6 (AIHW).
Nutrition Australia has chosen vegetable consumption as the focus for National Nutrition week this year, promoting the message of five serves of vegetables every day. Here’s some reasons why upping your intake of vegetables is a good idea:
- Vegetables contain vitamins and minerals – such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and folate.
- Vegetables contain fibre – which is necessary for good bowel health, lowering cholesterol and keeping blood sugar levels in check.
- Vegetables contain antioxidants – natural molecules that may play a positive role in preventing heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
- Vegetables help control your weight – by being naturally low in calories and with no saturated fat or added nasties.
- Vegetables are natural – no processing in the factory here!
How do you wade through all the information out there?
There’s no doubt that there is a lot of information out and about with regards to diet and nutrition. There’s fad diets, quick fixes and “hacks” – all designed to appeal to our desire for fast results. How do you know which is right and which is sending you down the wrong path?
That’s where qualified dietitians such as our own right here at Swiftdoc come in. Drawing on knowledge from years of study and experience, a dietitian can offer holistic advice on diet and nutrition, based on your own health and personal circumstances. Not only that, but our GPs can also form part of your team to work towards better health – such as with arranging blood tests to build a comprehensive picture of your health.
So this National Nutrition Week, set yourself the challenge of increasing your vegetable intake to the recommended five serves a day, and take the time to book in for an online appointment with our dietitians and GPs.
This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately dial Triple 0 (000).