Cancer Council Queensland is shocked by figures showing half of the state’s children and a third of Queensland adults are consuming unhealthy takeaway food at least once a week.
The 2012 Queensland Chief Health Officer Report* identifies takeaway food as meals or snacks such as burgers, pizza, chips and other fried food sold in fast food outlets or takeaway food stores.
The report found 40 per cent of adult males and around 28 per cent of adult females in Queensland admitted to consuming unhealthy takeaway on at least one occasion each week.
The trends were more alarming for Queensland kids, with around 48 per cent of children aged 5 to 17 years being ‘treated’ to food high in salt, sugar and saturated fat at least weekly.
Nationally, unhealthy takeaway trends served as shocking too – figures show 42 per cent of Australians eat out or have takeaway for dinner three or more times a week*.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said eating a poor diet could lead to overweight or obesity and increase the risk of some cancers.
“At least 30 per cent of all cancers are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices, including maintaining a balanced diet,” Ms Clift said.
“Australian Dietary Guidelines show Aussies need to eat less fried food, takeaway food and food and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugar and added salt.
“It’s very important to limit the intake of foods high in saturated fat – including pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, chips and other savoury snacks.
“These foods should only be consumed sometimes and in small amounts.
“It’s easy to make healthier choices when ordering takeaway – stick to the right ratio of 50 per cent vegetables, 25 per cent protein and 25 per cent carbohydrates for a balanced meal.
“Ask for less sugar and less salt to be used in your meal, avoid battered food, and go for steamed or grilled dishes instead of fried.
“It’s also important to control your portion sizes – servings are often far larger than a recommended meal size, especially when it comes to accompaniments like rice.
“Try and choose brown rice where possible and avoid cream and coconut-based sauces – tomato is a better option.”
Queenslanders can join the QUEST toward better nutrition and living a healthier life at quest.org.au.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland