Startling new facts about what Australians are eating for lunch

May 03, 2006

A new ACNeilsen Omnibus poll of 1400 Australians reveals that almost two thirds of us are regularly choosing takeaways, with hot chips, hamburgers and meat pies the most popular menu items.

As part of the inaugural Australian Lunch Week, Sanitarium Nutrition Service dietitians have analysed a range of common lunch options found in food courts around the nation. Most of us will be stunned at the high amount of fat, salt and sugar in many dishes and drinks - even those we think of as relatively healthy!

What We're Really Eating!What You Need To Do To Work This Off!Healthier Convenient Lunch OptionsTips for Choosing a Nutritious Lunch

According to Sanitarium Dietitian, Cathy McDonald, a healthy tasty lunch will be based on wholegrain carbohydrates, protein (we recommend plant proteins, such as legumes and nuts), a variety of vegetables and some fruit and water or low-fat milk/soymilk.

"Meals based on these foods are nutritious, taste good and boost our sense of wellbeing. Other tips to keep in mind include:

  1. Try and choose foods that aren't deep fried or contain pastry as these often contain high amounts of saturated fat.
  2. Portion size is important - eating large amounts can lead to excess energy/kilojoule intake, making it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Sauces and dressings can also add unwanted energy, fat and salt, so go easy on these and where possible ask for them on the side so you can add your own if you want," she says.
Note to editors:
Reference values for Percentage Daily Intake information were taken from the Food Standards Code (Standard 1.2.8m Table to subclause 7).

Energy expenditure for certain activities taken from G M Wardlaw and P M Insel, Perspectives in Nutrition, Times Mirror Publishing USA, 1990.

Released on behalf of Australian Lunch Week by Crossman Communications. For more information please contact Jackie Crossman or Amanda Newsom on 02 9363 0288.

About Sanitarium
Sanitarium's enduring mission is to inspire and resource the community to experience happy, healthy lives. Commencing operations in Melbourne in 1898, Sanitarium remains proudly 100% Australian owned. Sanitarium is one of Australia's most trusted brands and has a reputation for producing quality, healthy foods. Weet-Bix is Australia's No. 1 selling breakfast cereal and So Good is the leader in the soymilk category.

Sanitarium's Nutrition Service is a free advisory service for consumers and health professionals. Highly trained nutritionists and dietitians provide friendly, helpful unbiased advice and easy to follow recipes to help people make healthy food choices.

Research Australia

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