The sour side of teens’ sugary diet
TEENAGE boys consume a staggering 23 teaspoons of sugar daily from drinks and food, an average of 92 grams a day, according to a new series of a report cards on Australian health.
Australia’s Health Tracker shows almost 30 per cent of young people are overweight or obese and 91.5 per cent are not doing enough physical activity.
The assessment of the nation’s declining health also found that almost 40 per cent of young people’s total daily energy consumption comes from junk food.
Rex Milligan, manager of Foodbank WA’s Healthy Food for All, said the findings highlighted some of the significant health risks that its nutrition education programs aimed to address.
“We have a team of qualified dietitians, nutritionists and health promotion staff who deliver a range of handson, practical healthy eating and cooking classes to support children and young adults to make better food choices,” Mr Milligan said.
“We also provide professional development and training to other health professionals to help us expand our reach, particularly in rural and remote communities.”
Australian Health Policy Collaboration director Rosemary Calder said risk factors encountered during childhood and adolescence could lead to increased risk of chronic disease.
“We urgently need action to help prevent chronic diseases in Australian children and young people and improve their health across the lifecourse,” Ms Calder said.
More than 50 health organisations worked together on Australia’s Heath Tracker – the first assessment of its kind – to warn governments and industries that immediate action is needed to fight chronic disease. ALMOST 40 per cent of people with a family history of illness refuse to be tested, with many citing fear of a positive result, according to a recent survey.
An Amcal Consumer Health Barometer survey had 39 per cent of respondents say they had not been checked for diseases such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease despite a genetic predisposition, with a fear of bad results, dislike of medical tests and not feeling sick among the biggest deterrents.
Senior pharmacist James Nevile said it was a concerning figure, with both diseases having few symptoms in the early stages, which made early diagnosis even more important.
The survey also showed few understood how diabetes was caused, with half of respondents having never heard of gestational diabetes and 10 per cent incorrectly assuming they had to be overweight or obese to develop the condition.
Mr Nevile said while many have heard of diabetes, the condition was actually a group of different diseases with a variety of causes, which could contribute to the confusion surrounding it.
With National Diabetes Week running until July 16, Mr Nevile said anyone concerned about the disease should talk to their local pharmacist about testing and lifestyle advice.
Visit www.diabetes australia.com.au or www.diabeteswa.com.au.