Source: The Australian, Monday May 8 1995, p. 5


Young generation stokes up on fast food

MORE Australians than ever are 
eating fast food at the expense of the 
home cooked family meal, a new study 
released yesterday reveals. 
 
  According to the National Heart 
Foundation's latest survey of fast food 
eating habits, 83 per cent of Aust- 
ralians consume takeaway meals at 
least once a fortnight in the form of 
pizzas, burgers, pies and fish and 
chips. 
 
  But while more than half of the 1200 
people surveyed said they believed 
their diets were healthier than a year 
ago, the study shows that young 
people aged between 18 and 24 are 
eating more junk food than any other 
age group. 
 
  Nearly a third of 18 to 24-year-olds 
admitted to eating "more" fast food 
than a year ago, while a quarter said 
they ate a "lot more" fast food than 
the previous year. 
 
  According to the study, which was 
carried out by Newspoll in December 
last year, fast food is becoming more 
popular with high income earners 
full-time workers and males. 
 
  Ninety-two per cent of those earning 
more than $30,0000 a year are more 
likely to grab a takeaway meal on the 
way home from work, compared to 79 
per cent of low income earners. 
 
  Fifty-two per cent of men are more 
likely to eat fast food, compared to 43 
per cent of women. 
 
  The survey found that respondents 
who claimed their weight had 
increased over the last 12 months were 
more likely to have eaten takeaway 
food (89 per cent) within the last two 
weeks. 
 
  Those who worked either full-time 
(26 per cent) or part-time (28 per cent) 
were more likely than non workers (20 
per cent) to have increased in body 
weight over the last year. 
 
  The most popular "ready to eat" 
meal was a sandwich or roll (47 per 
cent) followed by hot pies, pasties and 
sausage rolls (35 per cent), burgers (33 
per cent), fish and chips (32 per cent), 
pizzas (26 per cent~, fried chicken (24 
per cent) and Asian food (23 per cent). 
 
  The director of the Heart Foun- 
dation's Health Promotion Unit (Vic- 
toria), dietician Ms Robyn Charlwood, 
said survey findings for the 18 to 24- 
year-old age group were alarming. 
 
  "Fast foods are seen as a no hassle, 
convenient way to eat and the Heart 
Foundation has no problem with 
people having fast food on the odd 
occasion, but it's this next generation 
of parents who seem to see fast food as 
a normal way of eating that we are 
particularly concerned about. 
 
  "Although fast foods may be seen to 
be a cheap alternative as a main meal 
and are okay to eat occasionally, most 
fast foods are high in fat, particularly 
saturated fat, which leads to high 
blood cholesterol, clogged arteries and 
potential heart disease. 
 
  "They also tend to be high in salt 
and sugar and low in fibre." 
        -CAROLYN JONES


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