Young women struggle with diet resolutions in the new year
IT IS groundhog day for the nation's young women, most of whom have resolved to do the same thing in 2013 as they did in 2012 - eat better.
The Young Women's Nutrition Survey, commissioned by the Dietitians Association of Australia, reveals 68% of 18- to 24-year-olds have resolved to eat healthier in 2013 and 42% are hoping to lose weight.
But the same survey 12 months ago revealed a similar commitment to health in 2012, confirming that many young women continue to struggle with weight and nutrition issues.
The recent report also found that almost two-in- three young women tried to lose weight in the year before the survey, and just over a quarter (28%) said the process of trying to lose weight was an ongoing one for them.
The results come as the Dietitians Association of Australia prepares for Australia's Healthy Weight Week campaign from January 20-27, which urges women aged 18 to 25 to adopt healthy eating habits to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
"The survey found many young women lack the time or willpower to stick to their best intentions, with the time involved in preparing a nutritious meal and the temptations of take-away foods, snacks and sugary treats the main barriers to eating well," Melanie McGrice, an accredited practising dietician, said.
"Sadly, many young women fall down by setting their goals too high, and then give up when they can't reach those goals.
"The key is making smaller changes for the better, and then adopting these changes for life."
She said a healthy diet included eating different kinds of nutritious foods every day, having breakfast each morning, cooking healthy meals at home, limiting takeaways and enjoying treat foods every now and then, rather than daily.
Ms McGrice said making these small changes would help young women wishing to shape up in the New Year, and she suggested aiming for a realistic and sustainable weight loss of about 2-4kg a month.
She also recommends getting tailored nutrition advice from an accredited practising dietitian.
For information about Australia's Healthy Weight Week, an initiative of the Dietitians Association of Australia, visit healthyweightweek.com.au.