The recent General Assembly of the United Nations was a landmark event as it was only the
second time the UN had met to discuss health issues - with the last health meeting being held in
2001 and focused on the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The United Nations met in New York to discuss non-communicable diseases, with a focus on
obesity and diabetes.
“The World Health Organisation states that world obesity levels have doubled since the 1980s
and Australia’s own obesity rates have been increasing faster than any other developed country
over the last 20 years,” said AUSVEG Senior Communications Officer, Courtney Burger. AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato
Education and adoption of healthy eating are linked closely with both the obesity crisis and also
the prevention and management of diabetes.
“Reducing your intake of fast foods and boosting the amount of fresh vegetables you eat on a
weekly basis can be the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle,” said Miss Burger.
AUSVEG recently met with the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA) in
Canberra to discuss ways in which the vegetable sector can become involved in the plans and
initiatives being developed by the Agency to target obesity and promote healthy eating.
“One in two Australians is currently classified as overweight or obese and this figure is set to rise
to two thirds of Australian adults being in this unhealthy weight range by 2020,” said Miss Burger.
“The positives of consuming more fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet reach far beyond just
your waistline. Their natural vitamins and minerals are extremely beneficial and choosing fresh
food means you are lessening your intake of salt, refined sugar and carbohydrates.”
AUSVEG encourages people to try and eat the recommended daily intake of two serves of fruit
and five serves of vegetables per day.
“We need to change our bad eating habits in Australia now, to ensure that future generations
inherit a country that is healthy and by doing so this will also help take pressure off the health
system,” said Miss Burger.
Source: AUSVEG News