New approach to combating junk food over-consumption

With recent findings by the CSIRO’s Healthy Diet Score survey confirming that nearly 80% of Australians are consuming junk food on a daily basis, a new online tool developed by the Australian Government scientific research hopes “to provide the community with a greater understanding of their discretionary food intake and where they can make improvements to their eating habits.”

The Junk Food Analyser has been created in the light of the fact that junk food or discretionary, as it is also known, over-consumption is driving high rates of poor nutrition, high rates of obesity, a higher risk of lifestyle diseases and of course, serious oral health issues, as detailed in the ADA’s Oral Health Tracker.

The Oral Health Tracker shows, for instance, that almost 48 of adults are consuming too much free sugar which plays a significant role in the development of dental caries and the development of oral diseases which are largely preventable, and which have a “a significant effect on oral health and quality of life.”

On average, Australian adults are eating about twice as much as what is recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines, with a whopping 5.1 servings of discretionary foods consumed each day, the equivalent to about 3000kJ, or 20 small solid chocolate Easter eggs daily.

CSIRO research scientist Dr Gilly Hendie says the Junk Food Analyser aims to provide practical assistance to people when it comes to the food and drinks they consume.

“Launching just in time for those who may have overindulged this Easter, the new Junk Food Analyser provides individuals with specific advice on which categories of discretionary foods they are consuming the most, with the interactive tool providing strategies and tips on where kilojoules can be reduced, which is essential for weight loss.”

People are encouraged to help reduce their kilojoules intake in an achievable way with a variety of strategies helping people to enjoy consumption of their favourite discretionary food and drinks in the context of an overall healthy diet.

For more on the new CSIRO dietary tool, go to “New CSIRO tool to combat Australia’s #1 diet issue”

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