Australia has long enjoyed an image of being a healthy, sports-loving nation.
The latest findings of the Roy Morgan Health and Wellbeing study, the most comprehensive survey of Australia’s health, indicates that the perception is still on the money.
According to the researcher, 77 per cent of Australians say they “feel well and in good health”.
Diet is very much to the fore. Vegan eating habits are on the rise, but 71 per cent of Australians believe that “health food is not necessary if you eat properly”.
A viewpoint scarcely changed from 69 per cent who thought the same 20 years ago.
Over 67 per cent of Australians are also focused on trying to eat enough calcium and over half – 57 per cent – say they eat less red meat these days.
Interestingly, fewer Australians report that a low fat diet is a way of life – 24 per cent – by contrast to 37 per cent in 2000. Yet an increasing number of people – 62 per cent – say they would love to be able to lose weight.
Australians have long been keen on alternative medicines and vitamins, minerals and supplements sold at pharmacies and supermarkets. According to Roy Morgan, over one third (36%) revealed they preferred natural medicines and health products.
The biggest changes in attitudes over the past two decades involve sugar intake and additives. Nearly half of Australians (44%) are concerned about their sugar consumption. A similar percentage (46%) try to buy additive-free food.