2012 BUPA Nutritional Survey
Australia’s nutrition issues
SEVENTY-five percent of Australians do not choose food based on its nutritional value, despite the fact that 95% would like to be healthier, according to the 2012 Bupa Nutritional Survey.
The results also found that whilst most respondents said they had a good knowledge of nutrition, more than two thirds incorrectly answered questions about standard serving sizes for vegetables, meat and chicken.
More than 60% of people also said that they find the Nutritional Information Panels on packaging difficult to understand.
“While people want to be healthier, the results show far too many Australians either don’t understand how to eat healthily, or doing so isn’t a priority,” said Bupa CMO, Dr Paul Bates. “Information and advice must be easy to understand and incorporate into busy lives. “People are being bombarded with information about healthy living, and the right messages simply aren’t getting through,” he added.
Interestingly, more than half of all participants said that they have treats such as chocolate, cake and soft drink at least once a day. “In actual fact, it’s fine for people to enjoy some treats in moderation. “But that’s the key; people should only be having treats occasionally, the bulk of a person’s diet should be made up of nutritious foods like vegetables and fruit, lean meat, fish and chicken, and wholegrain cereals like rice, noodles, bread and pasta, with sweets and processed products rarely consumed,” said Bates.
The key barrier to achieving better health, according to participants, is a lack of motivation. Other barriers cited as major issues included cost, lack of time, and demands of work. Speaking in the wake of the survey Bupa Health and Wellness Advisor,former Ironman Guy Leech, advocated small healthy changes. “Too many people think it’s hard to be fit and healthy,” he said. “But the reality is that it’s not difficult if you focus on making a few changes at a time,” he added.