Aussies’ growing ‘app-etite’ for convenience comes at a price
A new survey from LiveLighter has revealed Australians are stepping out of the kitchen and relying on the convenience of food bought outside of home and delivered via online services.
LiveLighter Campaign Manager, Alison McAleese, said the annual survey revealed this habit is disrupting Australians’ efforts to stay healthy.
“When we rely on buying food outside of home or being delivered via online services we’re more likely to eat more, make unhealthy food choices and spend more money than we normally would when preparing and cooking meals at home,” Ms McAleese said.
Most Australians said they spent more money (69%) and over half of us (62%) chose an option less healthy when ordering food online compared to what they would prepare and cook at home.
Results also revealed when eating at fast food outlets a third (32%) of us reported consuming larger portion sizes than they’d normally eat at home, with half (50%) adding soft drink as the drink of choice to their meal.
“The annual Shape of Australia survey offered useful insights into areas where we need to make changes but also highlighted some positive health behaviours we can use to drive and embed healthier habits and improve our diets.” Ms McAleese said.
The following findings from the annual Shape of Australia survey highlight behaviours and areas Australians need to work on:
- one in ten 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 Australians (36%) said they upsized their meal when ordering online;
- a quarter of Australians (26%) admitted to upsizing their meals when eating at 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.
“We know almost half of Australians (42%) feel they’re often rushed and pressed for time. Given the convenience driving the success of online food delivery it’s no surprise Aussies are taking advantage of these services as a quick fix for breakfast, lunch or dinner,” Ms McAleese said.
LiveLighter is calling on Australians to fall back in love with home cooked meals.
“We want Aussies to realise convenience eating comes at a price, not just to their wallets, but more importantly their health.” Ms McAleese said.
Recent reports from online food ordering platforms confirmed the growing trend of mobile apps and online ordering technology and further highlight how many Australians find themselves falling back on foods made outside their homes.
“Last year, on one online food delivery site alone Australian’s made 7,000 online orders every hour– that’s a whopping two orders every second. A report from another platform revealed we scoffed down more than 83 million McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets in just 12 months.”
“When we know the majority of Aussies are choosing an option less healthy than what they’d normally cook themselves and ordering more than they need, our dependence on online food delivery services is very concerning,” Ms McAleese said.
WA’s LiveLighter Manager Kelly Kennington said the survey revealed many Aussies still enjoy the benefits of cooking, which will help improve our diets.
“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. It’s time we throw our aprons back on, make healthy food preparation a priority and start reaping the benefits that come with cooking our own meals.”
“When we take the time to prepare and cook our meals and snacks at home we gain control over the amount of food we choose to consume and we’re more likely to hit the recommended five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day.”
“Adding more fruit and vegies to our meals can mean a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers as well as helping to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.” Ms Kennington said.
“Sure, it may take a little extra time to plan ahead and cook, but when considering the benefits and just how much cheaper this is in the long run, it’s well worth the effort.” Ms Kennington said.
LiveLighter’s healthy cooking tips:
- Bulk up your meals with vegies and legumes. Try adding mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes to omelettes or on toast. Sneak in grated vegies to pasta sauces and chopped vegies like pumpkin or peas to casseroles.
- Save time by cooking meals in bulk and freezing. Try some of LiveLighter’s freezer friendly recipes: chicken and vegie pies, baked tomato rice or homemade burgers.
- Don’t just stop at main meal prep - start making healthy snacks at home too. Try these LiveLighter recipes: blueberry and banana bread, choose your own adventure muffins, easy popcorn or garlic spiced oven roasted chickpeas.
- Check out LiveLighter’s healthy recipe swaps –these small changes will make your favourite dishes more nutritious and reduce the amount of saturated fat, sugar, salt and energy you consume.
- For more tips and info use LiveLighter’s Eat Smart and Shop Smart booklets as your go-to guide on eating well and saving money while you do it.