Diet for one in three Australians is ‘worse’ in lockdown: new survey
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Diet for one in three Australians is ‘worse’ in lockdown: new survey

Media Release - 17 May 2020

More than half of Australians (54%) whose diets have changed in lockdown say they have put on weight, have let themselves go or are feeling sluggish and slow, according to a new survey by the Heart Foundation.

In other findings of the survey of 500 people:

  • Nearly two thirds (63%) have changed their eating habits, and of these, one third are eating ‘worse’ in lockdown
  • One in five people are consuming larger serves 
  • Nearly half (46%) of those who said their diet had changed were feeling frustrated or guilty about it
Now the Heart Foundation and Coles are teaming up to encourage home cooks to create and share heart-healthy recipes in their kitchens to improve their own wellbeing and raise vital funds to help save lives from heart disease - Australia’s single biggest killer.

Heart Foundation Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, warned that home isolation had made some Australians cut corners when it came to heart-healthy eating and drinking.
“With the pantry and fridge in tempting reach, we found 29 per cent of people were eating more to relieve stress and boredom, while 26 per cent were eating more desserts and nearly a quarter were snacking more than their usual habits,” Professor Kelly said.
Even before lockdown, poor diet was a leading risk factor for heart disease which, sadly, takes the lives of 48 Australians every day. As we slowly emerge, it may be hard to leave behind some of these unhealthy habits.

Cook with Heart Challenge

The Cook with Heart Challenge is like a fun run for the kitchen. People are encouraged to join the Challenge to make five or 10 heart-healthy recipes in 10 days to improve their health, while cooking for a great cause. By sharing your stovetop efforts through #cookwithheart, #coles, rally your family and friends to donate.

Coles Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Ronson said that the goal of inspiring Aussie families to share tasty, healthy meals was at the heart of this partnership.

“Our purpose at Coles is to sustainably feed Australians and help them lead heathy and happy lives and this is very much aligned to the Heart Foundation’s vital work. As our community continues to follow social distancing practices, sharing food at home or through virtual channels strongly connects people during these uncertain times. Now’s the perfect opportunity to try new recipes or improve your skills in the kitchen,” Ms Ronson said.
We are passionate about taking the stress out of ‘What should I cook tonight?’, as well as making it convenient to shop in store or online, while throwing the spotlight on heart health as part of our ongoing commitment to help our community stay safe.
Professor Kelly thanked Coles for their generous support in raising awareness of healthy eating and heart disease during this time. “Together with Coles, we want to encourage all Australians to eat well for their hearts. It can be as simple as adding a few more vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals or lean healthy proteins to your plate,” Professor Kelly said.

We know from previous research that people with heart disease are some of the most vulnerable in our community, as they are at higher risk of illness and can suffer severe complications if they get infected with COVID-19.

Eating habits in lockdown

  • Most Australians (73%) say they are very aware and pay attention to what they eat
  • Thirty-seven per cent of people said their diet had changed because they had more time, 37% said they were eating to cheer themselves up and relieve stress, while 33% found it hard to buy certain things or get to the shop
  • Among women, 55% say they have not trimmed down and were not in better shape, compared with 41% of men

Take the Cook with Heart Challenge

  • Challenge yourself to cook five or 10 heart-healthy recipes in 10 days and raise money to fight heart disease, Australia’s single biggest killer.
  • We have 20 easy and delicious heart-healthy recipes for you to download, cook and share.
  • Coles will generously match the funds raised to a maximum of $100,000, so your support is vital.
  • You can also go into one of two draws to win Coles gift vouchers, with a total of $5000 worth available to win.
  • Sign up to the challenge by visiting cookwithheart.com.au to join the fight against heart disease, Australia’s single biggest killer.
  • Don’t forget to share your healthy creations by using #cookwithheart, #coles

Find out more and Register


Media enquiries

Heart Foundation
Debora McInnes, Senior Media Advisor
M: 0423 827 697 E: debora.mcinnes@heartfoundation.org.au

Coles 
Martine Alpins, Media Relations
M: 0419 369 460 E: Martine.Alpins@coles.com.au
Coles Media Relations: (03) 9829 5250 or media.relations@coles.com.au

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