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Young women’s eating habits

Essentials for healthy living

Young Australian women are continuing their battle with the bulge, with around two in three claiming to have tried to lose weight in the past year, according to a new study.

The ‘Young Women’s Nutrition Study’, commissioned by the Dietitians Association of Australia, has found despite these attempts at weight loss, 80 per cent did not achieve what they had hoped and would still like to lose more.

The findings from the study, released this week, coincide with Australia’s Healthy Weight Week, an initiative of the Dietitians Association of Australia, which runs from 20 to 27 January.

The Newspoll survey, of 200 women aged 18-24, also found:

  • In the week prior to the survey, one in three young women had skipped breakfast atleast once
  • Sixty per cent had eaten take-away for dinner on one or more occasion during theweek leading up to the survey, with Asian/Indian/Mexican, pizza, fast food from a take-away chain, and fish and chips the most popular.
  • Around a quarter of the young women (23 per cent) had tried a fad diet, with mealreplacement shakes and detox diets the most common.
  • Less than six per cent had seen a dietitian for a tailored diet or meal plan.

‘We want to raise awareness of weight issues in younger women, and help them get to a healthy weight sensibly – instead of trying to lose 20 or 30 kilos when they reach 50, which is far more difficult,’ said Clare Collins, a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia.

She said around 35 per cent of Australian women aged 18-24 years are considered overweight or obese, up from 27 per cent in 1995, and rates or weight gain in this groupare higher than other Australians, which affects health and wellbeing, including fertility.

‘Making small changes every week will add up over time – like putting money into a savings account. Start by writing down your goals and set realistic targets. If you’re looking to lose weight, a weight loss of five to 10 per cent of your current weight can improve your health.

‘And if your weight is healthy, it’s important to keep it that way. Plus, fine tuning what you eat will boost your energy levels and vitality, so you’ll feel better,’ said Professor Collins.

For those young women who have resolved to lose weight and eat better in the New Year, Professor Collins recommends getting sound nutrition advice and support from an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

‘Many young women start a fad diet and fail. The success secret is to get advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian and turn a fad into fabulous eating habits that you can live with,’ said Professor Collins.

Twenty-five year old Katie Morphew, from Sydney, who recently saw an Accredited Practising Dietitian to help manage her weight, couldn’t agree more.

‘After travelling overseas each year for the past four years, I came home with a few extra kilos each time that I never seemed to be able to lose, no matter what I did. I was feeling as if I had tried everything and nothing I could do on my own worked.

‘Seeing an APD is unlike anything else I’ve tried – it actually works. Being accountable to someone, tapping into their knowledge and feeling supported is so rewarding. I am a whole lot happier and more confident now,’ said Ms Morphew, who has lost 9kg over eight months.

(Source: Dietitians Association of Australia)

More information

For more information on nutrition, including information on types and composition of food, nutrition and people, conditions related to nutrition, and diets and recipes, as well as some useful videos and tools, see Nutrition.


Posted On: 1 February, 2013
Modified On: 14 March, 2014


Created by: myVMC