Exclusive: Parents are among the worst offenders for consuming their recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables and consuming junk food which has experts worried about what it means for the health of our kids.
This comes as News Corp Australia can reveal 93 per cent of Australian adults are not meeting their recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables which could be putting them at risk of reduced life expectancy.
Experts say Australians are failing on our diets and we all need a wake up call to do better.
They say the spotlight on parents’ poor eating may give one reason for why one in four Aussie kids are overweight or obese due to not having healthy food choices modelled to them.
News Corp Australia can exclusively reveal the findings of our Eat Real survey of 22,000 Australians that gives a stark picture into the nation’s eating habits.
The survey, part of the new Eat Real campaign by Taste.com.au shows that while many of us think that we’re healthy, the hard facts of our daily diet tell a different story.
Only 41 per cent of 35-44 year-olds are meeting their Recommended Daily Intake of fruit with a dismal eight per cent meeting vegetable RDIs.
And overall only 7 per cent of Australians are eating their RDI of fruit and vegetables combined.
But the good news is that for those who do eat vegetables, they’re consuming more leafy greens with 94 per cent saying they ate spinach, rocket, kale and/or lettuce one or more times in a three-day period compared to 87 per cent in 2015.
A total of 30 per cent of us consume three or more serves of protein in a typical day (up from 18 per cent in 2015 on the back of low-carb, high protein diets) but dairy and wholegrain intake is still falling short of what nutritionists say we need daily.
More of us are still skipping breakfast with 16 per cent saying they currently don’t have a meal to start the day, up from 12 per cent in 2015.
Consumption of caffeinated hot tea or coffee in a typical three day period has also jumped from 77 per cent in 2015 to 83 per cent in 2018 as our addiction to the black beverage grows.
Discretionary foods such as cookies, cakes, lollies and soft drink has also risen — matching the increase in our waistlines.
Cakes and other discretionary processed foods have become more popular but bad for our waistlines. Picture: ThinkstockSource:Supplied
A total of 46 per cent of us are eating sweet biscuits every three days compared to 39 per cent in 2015, cakes and muffins are up 6 per cent to 36 per cent, lollies and chocolates up 5 per cent to 66 per cent and soft drink consumption up 3 per cent.
One in five Australians said they consumed fast food like McDonalds or KFC every three days. Parents with kids under the age of 18 are also on average 8 per cent more likely to consume junk food over a three-day period than those without children.
Director of dietetics at Monash University Helen Truby said Australians had good eating intentions but in our fast-paced lives often didn’t realise exactly what they were consuming.
“I think that we are easily overwhelmed by the amount of foods that aren’t the best choices for us. It is incredibly easy to go for coffee and have a muffin or biscuit because it is right in front of us,” Professor Truby said.
“I think in terms of our diet Australians could do better. When reports like this come out it is easy to think that it is about someone else and not you.
“Australians should use this as an opportunity to really examine their own diet and maybe even start a food diary for a week to see where things can improve.”