Women's Eating Habits 'Worrying,' Says New Australia Research

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By Silvana Peters | May 27, 2014 3:08 PM EST

A recent study has revealed shocking results regarding the fiber and vegetable intake of Australian women. Less than 2 per cent of women are consuming the recommended daily 5 servings of vegetables.

By examining the eating habits of three categorised groups of Australian women, namely women aged 31 to 36, pregnant women aged 31 to 36 and women aged 50 to 55, it was found that women are not getting the basic nutritional requirements based on the updated Australian Dietary Guidelines.

According to the findings of a team from the (http://www.noodls.com/viewNoodl/23259344/the-university-of-queensland/women-urged-to-eat-more-vegetables#sthash.zOyUcL6k.dpuf) University of Queensland (UQ), let by Prof. Gita Mishra of the School of Population and Health, "We compared women's diets to the updated Australian Dietary Guidelines and found that most needed more than two additional servings of vegetables to make up the recommended five," said Mishra.

Other significant findings of the study include the insufficient intake of daily recommended servings of grain, around 54 per cent of those aged 50 to 55 and 44 per cent for those 31 to 36 are either overweight or obese. Additionally, there is a high statistical percentage of women who live sedentary lifestyles with little to no physical activity.

As a general recommendation, Mishra said there is a need to increase the consumption of most food groups but reminded that with the high rate of obesity, "any increases in daily servings of dairy and meat would require a corresponding decrease in foods high in saturated fats and added sugar to avoid weight gain."

Relatedly, a study by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) found that how women eat in their earlier years, 20s specifically, has dire implications on the health of their would-be middle-aged heart.

Young women who ate about 8 servings of fruits/vegetables per day were 40 per cent less likely to have calcified plaque in their arteries 20 years later, compared with young women who ate only about 3 servings of fruits/vegetables per day.

"Healthy lifestyle behaviors are the foundation for the prevention of heart disease, and atherosclerotic plaque formation, the hallmark of cardiovascular disease, is a lifelong process," stated lead author Michael D Miedema, MD, MPH.

"Our results reinforce the value of establishing healthy behaviors early in adulthood and affirm that population-based approaches to reduce cardiovascular disease should include a focus on establishing a high intake of fruits and vegetables early in life."

To read the complete (http://www.noodls.com/viewNoodl/23259344/the-university-of-queensland/women-urged-to-eat-more-vegetables#sthash.zOyUcL6k.dpuf) UQ study, click here, and the MHIF's is located here.

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