CSIRO researchers explain why vegetables seem 'out of flavour' to Australians

By @Guneet_B on
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IN PHOTO:Waitress Mary Brasda poses with a "Quadruple Bypass Burger" at the Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Arizona June 17, 2009. The restaurant is known for its hospital theme and triple and quadruple bypass burgers. Reuters/Joshua Lott

The CSIRO Healthy Diet Score survey has revealed that the quantity of junk food that an average Australian consumes in a day is thrice the recommended daily allowance of junk food. The survey that covered a sample population of 40,000 Australians further revealed that people are avoiding fresh fruits and vegetables to hop on to junk food.

The CSIRO Healthy Diet Score survey targeted the Australian population to see the level of their daily dietary intake against the Australian dietary guidelines. On an average, an Australian scored 60 out of 100 in terms of healthy eating habits and the quality of the diet.

The survey results were found to be similar to the Australian Health Survey conducted earlier. The scientific survey found that the quality of diet was better in women than in men, who scored only 57 as compared to women subjects who gained 63 points. In addition, the researchers found that the quality of the diet improved with the age of the Australians. For example, women aged over 70 scored 71 points, the highest among all age groups.

“We’ve gone backwards on our vegetable consumption, while our fruit consumption hasn’t changed, with people still getting, on average one serve per day,” said renowned nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton, in an interview with the BBC.

“People aren’t deliberately saying they won’t eat their vegetables, but the way they are eating has changed.”

Stanton further said that with a majority of the Australian population working now, people are not left with any time to cook food. Prepackaged and ready-to-eat food packets are the only options they are left with. In addition, Stanton highlighted the fact that women are still the primary workforce who handle the kitchen, however, they are moving out of the house too.

Professor Manny Noakes, the CSIRO research director for nutrition and health, says that the survey has found that people now have started to eat a large portion of the junk food frequently. Considering the number of ill-health effects associated with the consumption of junk food, Noakes has recommended people to eat slowly, consciously and in small portions.

According to the Australian dietary guidelines, an adult should “eat two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day, with half a cup of cooked vegetables, one cup of salad vegetables, one medium piece of fruit or one cup of diced fruit representing one serve.”

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