Nutritious, safe and affordable food
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Eating well is important for good health. Eating a variety of everyday foods helps us maintain our health, feel good and have energy. Breastfeeding babies keeps them healthy and strong and helps to prevent health problems later in life.
How big is the problem?
Poor access to nutritious, safe and affordable food is an issue in Tasmania.
- Not eating well can lead to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease,
- It can cause poor wound healing in older people and dental problems in children and adults.
- It can also lead to foodborne illness (food poisoning) if the food eaten is unsafe.
- Only a small percentage of adults eat the recommended fruit and vegetable intake
- Two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese
- Some households, such as those living on lower incomes, experience food insecurity (running out of food and unable to buy more, or having to buy poor quality food because of affordability)
- Australians eat 2 to 4 times the amount of salt needed
- Only 25% of Australian babies are still being breastfed until 12 months of age.
What are the barriers to eating well?
- Unhealthy food and drink are supplied in abundance in the settings we live, learn and work.
- Our food supply has changed and the food we eat is more processed than ever.
- Serving sizes are larger and often loaded with fat, salt, and sugar.
- These unhealthy foods are often priced to be more affordable than healthier options.
- Cost, affordability, and low availability of healthy food are all barriers to food security.
While most babies are breastfed initially, this rate drops off dramatically in the first six months. The barriers to breastfeeding include:
- lack of knowledge about breastfeeding
- difficulties with breastfeeding
- breastfeeding is not common in some communities
- poor family and social support
- embarrassment about breastfeeding in public
- returning to work and accessing supportive childcare
- promotion and marketing of infant formula which makes it seem like infant formula is the same.
Learn more about breastfeeding on our website.
What can we do?
- Strategies focusing on healthy food supply and healthy behaviours, rather than on reducing body size, is the most useful way to support people of all sizes to take care of their health.
- Teach people about growing, cooking and the benefits of eating well.
- Reduce exposure of children to unhealthy food and drink marketing
- Make healthier food and drink options available in our childcare, schools and workplace settings.
- Implement breastfeeding promotion and protection strategies)
- Promote local, healthy seasonally grown food.
Further links and guidance