It’s official – you’ve decided to skip your beloved morning muffin, dump your secret lolly sta...
Junk foods are high in added sugar, salt and fat. They’re also low in nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre, which are needed to maintain a healthy mind and body. They contain a lot of energy and very little nutrition.
Some examples of junk foods include hot chips, pies, sausage rolls, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, processed meats, commercial burgers and pizza, crisps, lollies and sugary drinks.
Junk food used to be just an occasional ‘treat’ but these days people eat larger amounts more often. Junk foods are associated with increased risk of obesity and chronic diseases including heart disease.
If we eat or drink more energy than we use, we gain weight in the form of fat. Fat is stored under the skin (‘grabbable’ fat) and in and around our vital organs (visceral or ‘toxic’ fat). In general, the bigger your ‘grabbable gut’ is, the more likely you are to have visceral fat around your vital organs. Toxic fat increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Adults and children eat too much junk foods and drinks every day and not enough fruits and vegetables.
The energy (kilojoules) eaten in the form of junk foods and sugary drinks makes up over one third (36 per cent) of the total energy Australian adults eat every day and 41 per cent of the energy Australian children eat each day.
As well as eating too much junk food, only seven per cent of Australian adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables (five serves every day for women, and six serves for men) and only half of us eat enough fruit (two serves every day). Only 1 in 20 Australian adults eat the recommended amounts of both fruit and vegetables.
No. Junk foods are heavily promoted as a cheap option, but this isn’t true. Junk foods can be costly on your wallet and on your health.
A lot of meals and snacks using much healthier ingredients can be made for less at home.
Sugary drinks (including soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks and flavoured waters) are costly, while water from the tap is safe and (almost) free in Australia.
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