New research shows that cooking at home more often means Australians will -up' their fruit and vegetable intake, helping win the war on weight.
The research, involving more than 1,300 people, found those who spent the most time preparing and cooking meals ate more fruit and vegetables and spent less money on food away from home, compared with those who spent the least amount of time in the kitchen.
-Given more than nine in 10 Australians don't eat the recommended five serves of vegetables a day, and 63 per cent of adults are overweight or obese, and that number is rising, this is important research,' said Clare Collins, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and professor in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle.
Professor Collins said the quality of your diet is a good way of predicting weight, and healthy habits, such as eating more vegetables and less fast food, are linked with more time spent preparing and cooking food at home.
The research comes as the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) launches Australia's Healthy Weight Week (16-22 February), which encourages Australians to cook at home as a way to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
-Other studies show that when we eat out we tend to have bigger portions, choose higher-kilojoule foods, and eat more saturated fat, salt and sugar. And research shows that regularly eating meals away from home is linked with the risk of becoming overweight or obese,' said Professor Collins.
When it comes to weight loss, Professor Collins also encourages Australian to be realistic, aiming for a drop of around half to one kilogram a week, to be as active as possible every day, and to take on eating habits that can be kept up over time.
-Taking part in Australia's Healthy Weight Week is the perfect way to kick start healthier eating and cooking habits – a crucial step towards reaching your health goals.
-The unique thing about Australia's Healthy Weight Week is that it recognises that everyone is different, meaning their weight loss strategy will be too. It's a good time to seek out advice and support from an Accredited Practising Dietitian, who will give practical, tailored advice to suit your individual needs,' said Professor Collins.
More information, including the AHWW pledge campaign and home cooking challenge, plus nutrition tips, recipes and details of the more than 400 AHWW events being held across the country, at: www.healthyweightweek.com.au