Australians’ growing ‘app-etite’ for online delivery food is starving their physical and financial health, according to new data.
The recent Shape of Australia survey by LiveLighter shows that 69% of people spend more money when ordering online.
62% of us also choose an unhealthier option when we decide to order food in this way.
The annual survey has highlighted some key facts for Australians to digest:
- One in 10 of us order food online at least once a week.
- One in six of us eat a meal or snack bought outside of our homes every day.
- Over a third of people in Australia (36%) said they upsized their meal when ordering online.
- A quarter of Australians (26%) admitted to upsizing their meals when ordering from fast food outlets. This trend was higher among younger Australians with almost half (45%) of people aged 18–34 admitting to upsizing their fast food meal.
LiveLighter Campaign Manager Alison McAleese says this habit is disrupting people’s efforts to stay healthy.
“We want Aussies to realise convenience eating comes at a price, not just to their wallets, but more importantly to their health,” said Ms McAleese.
How does this impact our health?
Although there are some healthy choices, many delivery food options through services like UberEATS and Menulog are considered junk food; loaded with sugar, salt, saturated and trans-fat while being low in fruit, vegetables, fibre and wholegrains.
Eating these types of foods regularly can result in weight gain, and being above a healthy weight is the second biggest risk factor for the cancer burden after smoking.
The exact reason why being overweight or obese makes you more likely to develop these cancers is not yet fully understood, but we know there is a very clear link between the two.
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of these 13 cancers: breast, bowel, oesophageal, ovarian, kidney, pancreatic, liver, gallbladder, myeloma, meningioma, thyroid, gastric cardia, and uterine.
Tips and tools to help get you cooking
Many of us live fast-paced lifestyles; often balancing work, kids, and our social lives among other household responsibilities.
Given this, it’s no wonder that a significant number of Australians reach for their phone to order dinner at the end of a busy day.
However, Cancer Council WA’s Obesity Prevention Manager, Kelly Kennington said the Shape of Australia survey also revealed many people still enjoy the benefits of cooking.
“The good news is our research shows two-thirds of Aussies enjoy cooking and three-quarters of us feel confident in preparing and cooking a nutritious meal,” said Ms Kennington.
Keep your pantry stocked
If the last thing you want to do after a long day is head out again to the supermarket, you’re not alone – especially with the weather so cold at this time of year.
Keeping healthy long-life staples in your pantry makes it much easier to throw a last-minute meal together without leaving the house.
Be sure to always keep a stock of these items in your pantry: canned beans, canned tomatoes, fast-cooking grains (like couscous), frozen vegies, and tinned tuna.
They are versatile and easy to use – check out the busy people’s guide to pantry essentials for inspiration.
The very start of the meal preparation process is often the hardest part – deciding what to make. Simplify the decision-making process by collecting your favourite quick, healthy recipes.
Keep a notebook in the kitchen with your favourite recipes, and a photo album on your mobile or tablet with screenshots of online recipes. You’ll never need to go hunting for your favourite easy meal options again.
Not sure how to start your recipe collection? Check out LiveLighter's Back to Basics recipe book!
Keep healthy snacks handy
These don’t need to be complicated; a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit, or grainy crackers will do the trick. Keep them in your car, bag and workplace.
By preparing ahead and having snacks on hand, you can save money and time. It can also help stop your mind from wandering to delivery food by keeping your hunger at bay.
Having a fruit bowl in your kitchen is a great reminder to grab a piece of fruit as you head out the door.
Choose a healthy option for takeaway night
While there are plenty of junk food options available on food delivery apps, there are also healthier choices you can make for your family’s takeaway night.
For example, instead of fried fish and chips, try grilled fish with a side salad and a small portion of fries. If you use UberEATS, try searching for some options in the ‘Healthy’ category.