Shopping tours build healthy communities

HEALTHY: Melissa Hughes and Bendigo Health community dietitian Bree Forrester. Picture: BRIAN SEMMENS

HEALTHY: Melissa Hughes and Bendigo Health community dietitian Bree Forrester. Picture: BRIAN SEMMENS

BENDIGO Health is helping people make healthier choices at the supermarket.

Bendigo Health has teamed up with Diabetes Australia Victoria to host Healthy Supermarket Tours during May, July, September and November.

Dietitians will lead the tours and show participants how to read and understand food labels and select healthy food options.

Bendigo Health chief executive John Mulder wrote about the new initiative in his blog The power of the weekly supermarket shopping list.

"I am currently very focused on how Bendigo Health can partner with other local agencies to improve the health of communities particularly within the Bendigo local government area," he said.

"I don’t like seeing my community continually listed among the top ranked communities for all of the wrong health reasons.

"Most people are aware of the link between obesity and diabetes, but many don’t realise just how debilitating obesity can be. 

"Australia is today ranked as one of the fattest nations in the developed world.

"The prevalence of obesity in Australia has more than doubled in the past 20 years. 

"According to a recent Monash University study, obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia.

"As I watch the behaviour of people in my community and witness what goes in their supermarket trolleys I can’t help but feel too many of us are missing the point."

Mr Mulder said fast food outlets, processed food retailers and advertising were often blamed for childhood obesity.

But he said it was the people controlling those children’s diets, and doing the weekly shopping, who had the most influence.

The Healthy Supermarket Tours are free for Diabetes Australia Victoria members or $15 for non-members.

Call 1300 136 588 to book your place or find out more about the tours.

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