Eating ‘junk food’ regularly is the norm for Victorians

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th June 2015

Burger and FriesPackaged snacks as well as fast foods such as hot chips or pizza have become dietary staples for average Victorians, according to a new study.

The first ‘Shape of Victoria’ survey conducted by the Cancer Council Victoria and the Heart Foundation of Victoria surveyed over 1000 people in Victoria asking various questions about health, eating and exercise.

“We’ve become accustomed to overeating and having unhealthy foods readily available,” said Heart Foundation Victoria CEO, Diana Heggie about the survey.

“Many people also seem to be falling into the habit of ‘mindless eating’ which can add up to a lot of extra kilojoules which are difficult to burn off,” she said.

Perceptions of personal diet and weight

The survey asked whether Victorians thought they ate a healthy diet and compared this to what they actually consumed. It was found that more than half of those surveyed thought they ate healthy. In reality however, only one in 14 people are eating the recommended amount of vegetables each day.

The Shape of Victoria study discovered that over 80 per cent of people believed overeating was the ‘new norm’. At least 85 per cent said junk food has become part of their daily diet. Most people do not actually know how much they eat in any given day.

Skipping meals

Victorians were asked about how regularly they ate, and one in three revealed they skipped breakfast.

Only one in two people ate three main meals a day. A striking 16.9 per cent of the surveyed population were found to only eat one main meal per day.

Snacking habits

When questioned about snacking habits, one in two respondents answered that they regularly choose fruit making it the most popular choice of snack. Biscuits, chocolate and packet chips were the next popular.

Fastfood and takeaway

The survey explored Victorian’s fastfood and takeaway eating habits finding that almost three quarters of people buy food to eat outside the home at least once a week. Men and young people were amongst those most ;likely to purchase takeaway.

Pizza was found to be the most popular takeaway, bakery items came second followed by hamburgers and chicken.