The CSIRO recently released their Healthy Diet Score Report for 2016, and for the first time, food avoidance was surveyed, with some interesting results! Is there a trend of food avoidance, or are we avoiding foods for good reason?
You can read about the general results, and some health changes you can make here.
1 in 3 Australians reported avoiding one or more foods, or food components. 80% of these are female, and those 18-30 have the highest rates of avoidance. Nearly 20% only avoid one thing, whilst more than 10% avoid more than one thing.
So what is being avoided? And who is avoiding it?
Wheat and/or gluten, dairy and/or lactose and meat and/or animal products were at the top of the list.
Statistics show that approximately 1 in 70 Australians have coeliac disease, 17% have a food allergy or intolerance, and around 1 in 5 Australians have IBS. Further to this, many people avoid meat and dairy for ethical reasons, rather than it being related to a medical condition.
Does this mean that some people are avoiding some foods for no real reason?
Potentially, yes, some people are avoiding foods unnecessarily (#glutenfree). However, others are avoiding foods simply because they are trying to figure out what is causing them to not feel at their best. Others may have heard that particular foods should be avoided. If you have concerns that you have a food intolerance, it is a good idea to get advice from a dietitian who specialises in the area; they can be a tricky thing to navigate!
But back to the score…
So how did ‘avoiders’ stack up? Interestingly, vegans and vegetarians had the best diets, with a score of 66/100, but avoiders in general reported slightly better diets, with average score of 62/100. Interestingly, avoiders scored 13 points higher than non-avoiders (44.1 vs. 31.0, out of 100) when it came to discretionary foods.
You can read more of the report here.