Unhealthy food choices in the spotlight

AN incredible 90 per cent of people in Greater Bendigo are not eating five serves of vegetables per day, the daily recommended dosage.

A further 70 per cent are not eating the daily recommended two pieces of fruit.

These are just two confronting statistics revealed in a food accessibility report being considered by the council this week.

The report will be reviewed by the City of Greater Bendigo's Active and Healthy Communities division and local community health organisations, which will develop policies aimed at improving Bendigo residents' eating habits.

Active and Healthy Communities manager Patrick Jess said the reasons people chose to eat unhealthy food were complex.

"People living in lower socio-economic areas find it more difficult to access fresh food," he said.

 "One (reason people eat fast food) is convenience and another is education - not knowing what healthy foods to purchase or how to prepare them if they have been purchased."

He said a lack of time was another reason people ate fast food.

He said there was no "quick fix" to the issue but the council would consider a range of ideas to encourage people to make healthier food choices.

One idea included developing community gardens that would allow people to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables.

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