A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that nine out of 10 Australians don’t eat the recommended amounts of vegetables each day, and only half consume enough fruit.
“This is important because we know that people with low fruit and vegetable intake have higher risks of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes,” says AIHW spokesperson Ann Hunt.
As your number of risk factors increases, so too does your likelihood of chronic disease. For example, men with five or more risk factors are twice as likely to report depression than men with two or fewer risk factors. Similarly, women with five or more risk factors are three times more likely to report stroke than women with two or fewer risk factors.
“As a country we need to get moving,” says Dr Lyn Roberts, national CEO of the Heart Foundation. “The report is a wake-up call, telling us that almost every Australian aged 15 or over (99 per cent) has at least one risk factor contributing to chronic disease and most people have three.”
Did you know…
- Australians consume about nine grams of salt a day – more than double the recommended daily intake. Reducing salt intake by just one gram per day can reduce the risk of stroke, which is the second-leading cause of death in Australia.
- Almost six out of 10 Australians don’t get enough physical activity to maintain a healthy body weight and musculoskeletal system.
- More than 80 per cent of people spend more than three hours each day sitting during their leisure time.
- More men than women have five or more risk factors (17 per cent compared with 11 per cent).