Australians abuse junk food, CSIRO warns


Nearly four in five Australians abuse junk food every day, according to a CSIRO study.

The national agency wants people to change their approach to consuming “discretionary articles” and has released a free online junk food analyzer to help.

“Discretionary food or junk food is the number one problem affecting Australian diets today,” said Dr. Gilly Hendrie, researcher at CSIRO.

Excessive consumption leads to poor nutrition, high rates of obesity and an even higher risk of lifestyle-related diseases, she added.

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CSIRO analyzed data from a survey of more than 230,000 Australian adults collected between 2015 and 2020.

He found that nearly 80% of them consume too much “discretionary food” and that on average, adults consume about twice the amount recommended by national dietary guidelines.

A whopping 5.1 servings are eaten on average each day, the equivalent of about 3,000 kilojoules, or 20 small solid chocolate Easter eggs.

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The main “weaknesses” were alcohol (21 percent of discretionary food intake), cakes and cookies (19), sugary drinks (12), and savory pies and pastries (nine).

“While these types of foods and drinks are often high in sugar, kilojoules, and fat, they bring pleasure, which means that alternative methods need to be explored to help people enjoy their favorite treats in the world. the context of healthy eating, ”said Dr. Hendrie.

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A range of strategies to help people lower their kilojoule intake are modeled in the Junk Food Analyzer, and not just cutting out food altogether, she added.

“This could include choosing to eliminate alcohol, take a break from cakes and cookies, and cut candy consumption in half.”

Want to take the test? See


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