Source: The Mercury, 29 January, 1999, p.5


Forget apples, now we're the potentates of potato land


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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