LOCAL teenage boys have been warned to flick fast food and beat the bulge after new statistics revealed their unhealthy obsession with burgers.
Latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) declared teenagers and young adults were swallowing more soft drinks and chomping down more chips than any other age group.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District health promotion manager Christine May said fast food was chock-full of empty calories.
“Fast food is often energy dense and nutrient poor with hidden fat and sugar and even in moderate amounts it can supply more than recommended daily energy with the excess being stored as fat.
“Soft drinks and other sugar sweetened drinks contain large amounts of highly processed refined sugar that loads up on energy without any nutrients to accompany it.
“Participation in sport does not always mean that children and young people meet the recommended levels of physical activity as sporting commitments will involve one or two training sessions and one competitive game, totalling about three to six hours per week.”
According to the ABS, teenagers’ main source of fruit and vegetables was the potato in their deep-fried chips.
“These results show that on a typical day in Australia, one in four teenage males consume a burger compared with around only one in 14 for the whole population.
“While just under three quarters of teenagers and young adults consumed vegetables on the day prior to interview, almost half of this consumption was potatoes, including chips, for both teenage males and females.”
Another report by the University of South Australia found more than 80 per cent of children don’t even get one hour of exercise each day, positioning them among the laziest in the world.
Lead researcher Natascha Schranz said parents were falling into a trap of thinking organised sport was enough exercise for their children.
“It’s alarming that a nation committed to sport has fallen so far behind in incidental activity,’’ Dr Schranz said.
“We are just shutting it out.
“We need to do more active transport, reduce sitting and television time and incorporate active play into everyday life.’’