|We are often being told that obesity is on the increase in our country to the point that many are now known as morbidly obese. We are also told that the rate of diabetes in our population is also increasing and it is known that the two are very closely linked.
So are we eating more, or exercising less or a combination of both?
I was watching TV the other day and on came an ad for a large quick serve chain and they were selling a pack containing a normal burger, a small burger, three nuggets, a medium serve of chips and a standard size soft drink all for under $12. It is obviously intended as a single person serve and is quite simply a massive amount of food.
So is this type of meal being demanded by the public and the companies then providing, or is it the other way around and the companies come up with these huge meals to then market to get sales?
Well, it seems we have the answer to that question.
The George Institute for Global Health has found that we Aussies are eating significantly bigger serves or both fatty and sugar foods than we have in the past.
Data was compared from 1995 to 2012 and the sizes of portions of items like pizza, cake, sausage, cereal bars, processed meat and ice cream have increased. Pizza and cake have the biggest increase with Australians eating 66 percent more kilojoules when eating these, than in the past.
Dr Miaobing Zheng, of The George Institute for Global Health, said; “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. 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.”
There is a little good news, the portion size of some foods has actually decreased, eg; pastries, and snack foods like popcorn and hot chips.
|Dr Zheng stated; ” 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. We know that people often under report the amount of food and drink they consume, especially if they consider them as “bad foods”. So the true picture of what Australians are eating could be much worse.”|