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Only 13% of kids in Western AU eat enough vegetablesRegional and remote kids in Australia face unique challenges when it comes to eating the recommended amount of vegetables, new research has found.
An Edith Cowan University (ECU)-led study has found that children in regional and remote Western Australia need a major boost of vegetables in their diets.
The study, involving children aged 9-13 years and their caregivers from across the state, shows that only a paltry 13.4 per cent of kids get sufficient vegetables in their daily diets.
“Over half of the respondents indicated they would eat healthier food if their food outlets stocked healthier options,” Nutrition lecturer and lead author Dr Stephanie Godrich from ECU's School of Medical and Health Sciences said.
“And one-third pointed to food quality as being ‘sub-optimal’. This includes vegetables not being fresh in their local shops or spoiling soon after getting home.”
Price was also an issue, with 79.1 per cent believing food was more expensive for them than in other communities.
Choice was a factor – people who agreed they had enough food outlets in their town were ten-times more likely to eat enough vegetables than those who felt strapped for options.
One recommendation included the implementation of a promotional campaign focusing on vegetable consumption. Future messaging might remind families they have options beyond the fresh produce section.
“Frozen and no added salt tinned offerings provide more opportunities for children to consume adequate quantities of vegetables, at a more affordable cost and with fewer quality issues than fresh vegetables” Dr Godrich says.
“These are convenient, and they are usually more readily available when their fresh counterparts are out of season.
Publication date: 8/22/2017
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