Ben Walsh tucks into a hot dog on his lunch break yesterday.
Ben Walsh tucks into a hot dog on his lunch break yesterday. ALLAN REINIKKA

Residents fork out for fast food

ROCKHAMPTON residents are forking out up to $50 each per week on takeaway meals, and Ben Walsh admits it’s a costly habit.

The 16-year-old tradesmen buys lunch every day and was not surprised to learn about new research which proves we love a fast food fix.

An independent survey commissioned by Suncorp Bank has revealed more than 500,000 Queenslanders spend up to $100 each week on eating out.

Rockhampton residents fared better than most, making up just 6% of the half a million Queenslanders shelling out up to $100 weekly for takeaway.

However, 93% confessed to sharing Ben’s costly habit of splurging up to $50 a week for takeaway.

“It’s too time-consuming to make lunch in the mornings when you wake up and you’ve got to quickly get ready for work,” he said.

“It is more expensive – buying take-away for lunch probably costs me about one hour’s worth of my pay.”

Suncorp Bank regional general manager Greg Leahy warned that splurging on take-away may help the economy, but individuals could see their savings dwindle.

“Cutting down on takeaway food as well as eating out is a great way to make your waist line shrink and your bank balance grow,” he said.

And it’s not just the health of your bank balance that could suffer as a result of splashing out on eating out.

Kath Carter, a registered nurse at Yeppoon Family Practice, said takeaway foods could form part of a healthy eating plan, but too many people overindulged.

“It’s not just the 17 and 18-year-olds who are eating far too much of take-out foods, its right across the board,” Ms Carter said.

This week is Australia’s Healthy Weight Week

Healthy Weight Week

This week is Australia’s Healthy Weight Week.

Take 10 with our 10-week challenge:

1. Start a food diary.

This will help you see what you’re eating and drinking, and where any problem areas are.

2. Eat breakfast every day.

Breakfast eaters are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and less likely to regain lost weight. And breakfast improves alertness, concentration, mental performance and memory.

3. Choose lower fat versions of three foods you regularly eat.

Lower fat versions will reduce your kilojoule (calorie) intake enough to shed some kilos. Look at the nutrition labels of two similar products and choose the one with the lowest fat content.

4. Get moving.

Take the steps at work instead of the lift, or walk to your local shops. Work up to being active for at least 30 to 60 minutes each day.

5. Switch to healthier drinks.

Swap soft drinks, cordials and juice for diet versions – or better still choose water and reduced-fat milk. Swapping a soft drink for water will save 694kJ. Have a glass, bottle or jug of water close by at all times.

6. Eat more fruit and vegetables.

Add one more piece of fruit and one more serve of vegetables to your day. Build up to the recommended two pieces of fruit and five serves of vegetables (around three cups) every day.

7. Cut back on treats.

If buying treats, choose smaller serve sizes and have these in the house less often. Plan when you will have treats (say once a week) and keep a close eye on the portion size.

8. Shrink your portion sizes.

Doing this at every meal is a sure-fire way to lower your energy (kilojoule) intake. Try using smaller plates and bowls.

9. Drink less alcohol.

If you drink alcohol, reduce your intake and aim for at least two alcohol-free days each week. Try a wine spritzer (wine diluted with plain mineral water) instead of a glass of wine and use a smaller glass. Choose light beers over standard “heavy” beers.

10. Get the right support.

An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is your diet coach – providing you with individual, expert advice to help you achieve your goals. Visit the “Find an APD” section of the Australia’s Healthy Weight Week website at to find an APD in your area.


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