Fruit and vegetables not eaten enough

EAT UP: Dietitian Ruth Walker is encouraging people to get their recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Warrnambool City is among the municipalities below the mark. Picture: Rob Gunstone
EAT UP: Dietitian Ruth Walker is encouraging people to get their recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Warrnambool City is among the municipalities below the mark. Picture: Rob Gunstone

CONSUMPTION of fresh fruit and vegetables is on the wane across the south-west.

Moyne Shire is proving to be the last bastion with fruit and vegetables making up 12.1 per cent of food eaten in the municipality.

That soars above the national average of nine per cent.

Other local government areas in the south-west make far less healthy reading.

Warrnambool City (7.7) and Southern Grampians (5.4) are off the mark but rate vastly higher than the two remaining south-west shires.

Both Corangamite (3.8) and Glenelg (4.4) come in with less than half the recommended rate.   

Dietitian at Warrnambool’s Middle Island Medical Clinic Ruth Walker said the importance of fruit and vegetables can not be underestimated.

“Fruit and vegetables remain vital to a good diet because of the vitamins, minerals and fibre they provide,” Ms Walker said.

“Statistics tell us that 30-35 per cent of what people are eating is food that is energy dense and nutrient poor.

“Foods like cakes, lollies, biscuits, pies and sausage rolls. People are filling up on the wrong stuff. It is concerning people are not meeting the guidelines set for fruit and vegetable intake.”

Ms Walker said fruit provides a perfect snack and encourages people to eat whole pieces rather than in proceeded or dried form.

Fruit and vegetables remain vital to a good diet.

Ruth Walker

She said whole pieces retains all the fruit’s nutrients.

“There is so much value to your health to go back to basics and eat more fruit and vegetables, it’s simple but very effective,” she said. 

The news is better on the physical activity front for south-west residents.

Figures show all five municipalities well ahead when it comes to meeting the guidelines for the amount of daily physical activity needed to remain health.

The national average has 44 per cent of Australians meeting the physical activity guidelines while in the PHN network in Western Victoria, that number falls to 37.

In Moyne, 72.4 per cent of residents are meeting the guidelines. Southern Grampians (71.2), Corangamite (68.4), Glenelg (66.3) and Warrnambool (65.7) are all comfortably over the national average. 

The national percentage of people overweight is 56, while rates in the south-west are Moyne (53), Southern Grampians (52.5), Corangamite (56.7), Warrnambool (46.8) and Glenelg (58.1).