Australians are the fourth fattest country behind the USA, Mexico and New Zealand, according to results of a study released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) last week that indicated a hefty 28.3 per cent of Aussie adults are obese.
The peak body for vegetable and potato growers, AUSVEG, has voiced its concern over the findings of the OECD report, Health at a Glance 2013, stating that Australians need to take a long, hard look at their eating habits and incorporate more fresh vegetable produce into their diets.
“It is disturbing to learn that more than a quarter of the Australian population – approximately 6.5 million people – is now obese. Vegetables are an integral part of a well-balanced lifestyle, and as previous research has shown can play an important role in weight management,” said AUSVEG spokesperson, Cameron Brown.
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
According to the report, more Australians are fatter than the British and Irish, with Japan coming in last as the thinnest OECD nation.
Although obesity can be influenced by a range of factors, research has demonstrated that vegetables can assist with overeating because they promote satiety – the sensation of ‘feeling full’.
“Eating vegetables intact, such as carrots, can play a role in facilitating satiety and reduced feelings of hunger,” said Mr Brown.
In 2012, a study for the Australian vegetable industry found that both raw and steamed shredded and raw and steamed cubed carrots had a higher satiety rating than raw pureed carrots. The research was funded by HAL using the National Vegetable Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.
“Given the evidence and overall health benefits of vegetables, there is absolutely no excuse to not fill your plate with lean and green vegies – particularly if you’re struggling with your weight,” said Mr Brown.
Fresh vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that aid in promoting human health and wellbeing.
“All Australians need to be actively involved in reducing the burden of obesity on the health care system by revisiting their eating habits. The OECD’s report is a stark reminder of the need for many Australians to consider the food they’re consuming.”
“We encourage consumers to incorporate more Australian-grown, nutritious vegetables into their diets. You’re not only helping yourself, but also the thousands of farming families across the nation who work hard to feed our nation,” said Mr Brown.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Gurney, Spokesperson, AUSVEG.
Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0410 047 432 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org