Columnist Kylie Lang writes that if fruit and vegetables were cheaper and truly fresh, more people would eat them. However, as it stands, groceries are high priced, while fast-food chains offer meal deals that are quick, easy and affordable.
A new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals a diet low in fruit and vegetables is killing more Australians than diets high in sugary drinks, salt and saturated fat.
Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift describes the finding as “a wake-up call for all of us to do what we can to avoid preventable chronic disease”. Yes, but the call to action involves more than telling people to eat better.
If quality fruit and vegetables are made more affordable, people will be encouraged to eat more healthily. Because when most people shop in supermarkets where a Granny Smith apple costs the same as a 1.25-litre bottle of lemonade — 75 cents, in case you’re wondering — there is more to fixing this dietary dilemma.
According to Numbeo, a website where users contribute data from around the world, Australians pay 25 per more for groceries than Americans, 19 more than Singaporeans and 10 per cent more than the French and Japanese.
Give us a wake-up call to improve our diet, as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare would have it, but also make quality fruit and vegetables more affordable. What people put in their mouths is ultimately up to them, but making healthy options more affordable is a good start.