Takeaway food fans not so keen on fruit and veg

Posted by Isobel Drake on 7th April 2009

People who eat takeaway food frequently are less likely to consume enough fruit and vegetables than those who do not, and a QUT study aims to find out how this can be changed.Researcher Kyoko Miura has recently completed analyses of the latest National Nutrition Survey which she used to form a baseline of the takeaway eating habits of Australians.

She said that her research had already discovered some interesting patterns in people’s eating habits.

“Generally people from a higher socio-economic group are more likely to eat takeaway food , but when they do, it is fairly likely to be a healthy choice of food,” Ms Miura reported. “When people from a lower socio-economic group eat take-away food, it is generally less likely to be a healthy choice.”

In her study, Ms Miura will aim to find out the contributing factors to a diet high in take-away food, and what motivates people to choose unhealthy options.

“From the studies I have reviewed, it is clear that those who regularly eat takeaway foods are not likely to be getting enough fruits and vegetables,” she said. “I would like to find out why, by asking questions about their perceptions of different kinds of takeaway foods – things like cost, taste and availability. From this we will be able to come up with ideas about how we can start to change people’s eating habits for the better.”

Ms Miura said the latest National Nutrition Study was completed in the mid-1990s.

“It is a while ago, but it is the most up-to-date, comprehensive survey about people’s eating habits,” she noted.

One-third of people ate takeaway foods at that stage, a figure that has risen substantially as the proliferation of fast-food outlets and the desire for convenience has pushed more toward the simple fast-food option.