Australians are eating larger servings of fatty & sugary foods

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 5th July 2017

Australians are eating larger servings of fatty and sugary foods than they were in the past The George Institute for Global Health has found.

Comparing data from 1995 and 2012, researchers found a large amount of unhealthy foods increased in partition size over time.

Pizza and cake were the worst culprits with Australians now eating 66 per cent more average kilojoules each time they consume these foods.

Typical portions of sausage, cereal bar, processed meat, ice cream and wine have also increased.

Dr Miaobing Zheng, of The George Institute for Global Health, said the results were worrying.

“Over the past two decades we found that foods which provide very little nutritional benefit have surged in size, and this is helping to fuel Australia’s obesity epidemic,” Dr Zheng said.

“We had expected portion sizes to have grown but we were still surprised by just how much. It’s pretty disturbing that an average slice of cake has increased in size so much it now contains almost 1000 kilojoules more than it did two decades ago,” she said.

Despite some foods increasing in size, others, including pastries, snack foods like popcorn and hot chips, have decreased in portion size.

Dr Zheng said she was not certain why these foods have decreased in size.

“We aren’t 100 per cent sure why the portion sizes of these foods reduced, but if you take fries, for example, most fast food chains offer small portions, so it could be the case that people recognise these foods are unhealthy and consciously try and eat less of them.  But, unfortunately these foods items were the exception, not the norm,” she said.

“We know that people often under report the amount of food and drink they consume, especially if they consider them ‘bad‘ foods. So the true picture of what Australians are eating could be much worse,” Dr Zheng stated.


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