Today is 'Food Revolution Day', a day to help raise awareness of how food impacts our health and happiness. Rates of lifestyle related disease, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes are at record highs, and research shows that improved cooking skills can assist with reducing these issues. The Good Foundation supports the day in Australia, with Jamie Oliver (whom I am sure most of you have heard of!) supports in US and UK.
So why is cooking so important? To start with, when you cook something yourself, you know exactly what is going into it and know the quality of the ingredients, not to mention the sense of pride you can feel when you create something delicious for you and your family to enjoy!
A recent study about cooking skills found that people with lower confidence to cook were actually less likely to buy and consume vegetables, than those who were confident. People, in particularly children, who know how to cook, are more likely to make healthy food choices later in life, which as we know will then have a positive impact on health as they grow up. In particular, reducing rates of obesity and other lifestyle related disease.
According to the ABS, in 2011-12 in Australia, over 70% of males and over 56% of females were overweight or obese. In children, 24% of boys and 27% of girls could be classified as overweight or obese. These numbers are stagering. Especially since we know that those who are overweight as children are likely to remain so, and have problems later in life. These statistics highlight the importance of making change, and helping ourselves and future generations improve their health - and it is great that it can be done through something as enjoyable as cooking!
What are you going to do for Food Revolution Day?
If you're unsure, maybe you could try the following:
- Experiment with a new vegetable: Buy something different to take home and incorporate into a recipe
- If you are not confident to cook, chat to a friend or family member who can maybe help you out (or please feel free to contact us!)
- Involve your kids, encourage them to participate in meal preparation
- Commit to making a certain number of meals at home each week (they do not have to be fancy)
- Try a new recipe
I would love to hear about how any of you have gotten involved!
Chloe McLeod is a dietitian at BJC Health.
This blog focuses on diet & nutrition generally and diet & nutrition in relation to the treatment of arthritis and arthritis-related diseases. Contact us if you’d like our help in managing diet-related health issues.