Nutrition key to health for senior Australians

Senior Australians have been encouraged to maintain a healthy diet as the COVID-19 pandemic changes the way we live, work, study and socialise.

As part of National Nutrition Week, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, has urged people of all ages to eat well to boost their immunity and overall health.

He said this is particularly important for senior and vulnerable Australians.

“Eating well is at the foundation of our individual health but this can be challenging for many people during such difficult times,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The Australian Government maintains the Australian Dietary Guidelines which provide evidence-based advice about the amount and kinds of food we need to eat for health and wellbeing.

“By following the dietary patterns recommended in the guidelines, we will get enough nutrients essential for good health.

“It will also help reduce our risk of chronic health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity down the track.”

Only one in 20 (5.4 per cent) of Australian adults and one in 17 (6.0 per cent) children aged 2-17 years meet the recommendations in the Australian Dietary Guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption.

Minister Colbeck praised the efforts of meal delivery services like Meals on Wheels, which plays a crucial role in supporting the health and wellbeing of over 200,000 older Australians across 592 service locations.

“With the impact of the pandemic, the care and wellbeing of senior Australians has been a priority this year, and meals services and food security have become even more important,” he said.

More than 10 million meals every year are delivered with the support of more than 76,000 Meals on Wheels volunteers.

The Government provided an additional $59.3 million to enable more prepared meals, food staples and essential daily items to be delivered to seniors in need.

Meal deliveries are available through Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

“National Nutrition Week is a great opportunity for people to think about the foods they eat and ensuring they maintain a healthy and regular diet,” Minister Colbeck said.

For more information about the Australian Dietary Guidelines, see here.

To locate an Accredited Practicing Dietitian visit the Dietitians Australia website here.

More information about meal deliveries is available by contacting Commonwealth Home Support Package meal providers directly, or through My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

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