Obesity in the spotlight

A recent General Assembly of the United Nations was a landmark event, only the second time the United Nations had met to discuss health issues – the last health meeting was in 2001 and focused on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The UN met in New York to discuss non-communicable diseases, with a focus on obesity and diabetes.

“The World Health Organisation states that world obesity levels have doubled since the 1980s and Australia’s own obesity rates have been increasing faster than any other developed country over the last 20 years,” said AUSVEG Senior Communications Officer, Courtney Burger.

AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

“Reducing your intake of fast foods and boosting the amount of fresh vegetables you eat on a weekly basis can be the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle,” said Miss Burger.

AUSVEG recently met with the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA) in Canberra to discuss ways in which the vegetable sector can become involved in the plans and initiatives being developed to target obesity and promote healthy eating.

“One in two Australians is currently classified as overweight or obese and this figure is set to rise to two-thirds of Australian adults being in this unhealthy weight range by 2020,” said Miss Burger.

“The positives of consuming more fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet reach far beyond just your waistline. Their natural vitamins and minerals are extremely beneficial and choosing fresh food means you are lessening your intake of salt, refined sugar and carbohydrates,” she said.

AUSVEG encourages people to eat the recommended daily intake of two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables per day.