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The risks of poor nutrition

Good nutrition, based on healthy eating is one essential factor that helps us to stay healthy and be active.

What causes poor nutrition?

Poor eating habits include under- or over-eating, not having enough of the healthy foods we need each day, or consuming too many types of food and drink, which are low in fibre or high in fat, salt and/or sugar.

These unhealthy eating habits can affect our nutrient intake, including energy (or kilojoules) protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals as well as fibre and fluid.

How does poor nutrition affect us?

Poor nutrition can impair our daily health and wellbeing and reduce our ability to lead an enjoyable and active life.

In the short term, poor nutrition can contribute to stress, tiredness and our capacity to work, and over time, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses and other health problems such as:

  • being overweight or obese
  • tooth decay
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease and stroke
  • type-2 diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • some cancers
  • depression
  • eating disorders.

Steps to good nutrition - it’s easier than you think

A good place to start is to:

  • have a good variety of healthy foods from the five food groups each day. For more information see the Healthy eating for different ages and stages and Healthy Eating tips sections
  • aim for two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day
  • only occasionally eat sugary, fatty or salty food, and then only in small amounts
  • drink fresh, clean tap water instead of sugary drinks
  • switch over to healthy recipes that look and taste good
  • plan your meals ahead and shop for healthy ingredients
  • enjoy cooking and eating healthy food with family or friends and without distractions such as the television.

Swap those poor eating habits over for better ones.

For more tips and ideas to boost your nutrition see these great tips from the Australian Government Shape Up Australia.

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