Australians not buying enough fruit or vegetables
Australians don't buy enough fruit or vegetables but buy too much food that is high in salt, according to new food consumption data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
ABS director of health, Caitlin Szigetvari, said: "The apparent daily consumption of fruit was below the recommended average two serves per day, at 1.5 serves per person. In comparison, vegetables were well below the recommended average five serves per day, at just 2.3 serves.
"The average daily amount of apparent sodium consumption was 3140 milligrams per person. This is 1.6 times the recommended daily intake of 2000 milligrams per person."
High intakes of sodium can increase blood pressure, which can increase the risk of developing heart and kidney disease. Typically consumed as table salt, sodium is also found naturally in a variety of food products.
The largest contributors of sodium were from table salt, stocks and seasonings (23.1 per cent), followed by regular breads and bread rolls (8.5 per cent), processed meat (8.1 per cent), gravies and savoury sauces (7.5 per cent), and cheese (5.0 per cent).
Ms Szigetvari said: "Other major findings from the data indicate that buying habits reflect seasonal patterns. The average apparent consumption of all foods was higher during the summer (1622 grams) than winter months (1476 grams), with non-alcoholic beverages the highest in the summer months due to a peak in the purchase of soft drinks over the festive season."
Do you feel you eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet?