Source: The Mercury, 29 January, 1999, p.5
Spuds special: Moonah shopper Graham Smith loads his basket yesterday. Picture: RAOUL KOCHANOWSKI TASMANIANS eat less fruit than other Australians - despite the state's lingering image as the apple isle-but we eat the most vegetables especially potatoes. This is one of the unexpec- ted findings from a major national survey of eating habits released yesterday. To further diminish Tas- manians' healthy image, we have the highest intake in Australia of fats, oils and meat. Tasmanians are also the top tea drinkers. The National Nutrition Survey, which quizzed 14,000 Australians, found that the national diet is getting bet- ter. Australians born in East Asia led the way as healthy eaters. The survey awarded Aust- ralians a B rating for their diet after surveying 14,000 people between February 1995 and March 1996. "Not too bad, but certainly room for improvement before we can claim to be a nation of healthy eaters," Federal Health Minister Michael Wooldridge said. He predicted Australians could improve their diet suffi- ciently to win an A rating in about a decade. Australians born in East Asia probably had the health- iest diet in the country, win- ning an A-plus rating from nutritionists because of their "excellent daily intake of cer- eal and cereal products [rice]". The survey found that Australians' favourite foods are potatoes, bread, dairy milk, breakfast cereals, ap- ples, carrots, cabbage, meat, beer, sweet biscuits and fatty fast foods. "The good news that the report singles out is our solid consumption of foods includ- ing meat products, the fact that we are drinking good amounts of water and do not consume too much added fats and oils with our foods," Dr Wooldridge said. The survey was carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the federal De- partment of Health and Aged Care. On the downside, nu- tritionists found Australians must double their intake of fruit and almost double their intake of vegetables, as well as eat more bread, milk and fish. AAP
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