A surge in the use of food delivery apps is making it easier for Queenslanders to access unhealthy fatty, salty and sugary food – all from the comfort of their couch.
This week for Smart Eating Week* (February 12-18), Cancer Council Queensland is warning people to reconsider what they add to their cart, to ensure their health doesn’t take a hit along with their wallet.
Research from finder.com found Australians spend a staggering $2.6 billion each year on food and drink deliveries, with the average person placing an order nearly once a week.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said food delivery services made it even easier for discretionary food to be accessed at any place, any time.
“While not all home delivery options are unhealthy, we know that the trend has significantly increased access to unhealthy meal options and large portion sizes,” Ms McMillan said.
“Unfortunately kilojoule labelling and nutritional information is not displayed on online delivery websites and apps, making it harder for people to make the healthy choice when ordering.
“It’s more important than ever to be conscious about what you’re ordering and choose options that are nutritious to boost your health, not harm it.
“Start by selecting meals that are high in fruit or vegetables. Look for dishes with plenty of colour – a healthy roast veggie salad will offer better nutrients and energy than a creamy carbonara with little-to-no vegetables.
“Next, look at the sauces and toppings on a meal – if the dish is covered in things like cheese, cream or mayonnaise, the fat content will be high and should be avoided.
“Also swipe away from dishes high in processed meats, or options that are deep fried.
“An unhealthy diet significantly increases the risk of becoming overweight or obese, and developing chronic diseases later in life, including some cancers.”
Around 64 per cent of Queensland adults are overweight or obese and need to take active steps, like eating healthy and limiting portion sizes, to reduce their risk of cancer.
Ms McMillan said minimum spending requirements for home delivery also encouraged people to upsize, hindering health and wellbeing.
“Instead of adding on a sugary drink or a side of fries to meet the minimum spend, add on a salad which can be eaten for a later meal, or as leftovers the next day,” Ms McMillan said.
“Keeping your portion size in check and making fresh, healthy food choices is essential to good short and long-term health.”
One third of all cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices, including eating a healthy diet.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland and healthy living is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.