What are food delivery services doing to our health?

//What are food delivery services doing to our health?

With numerous food delivery services on the market, food has never been so easy to acquire. Very literally you can “hunt & gather” from the safety and comfort of your own couch. 50,000 years ago movement was key to eat for survival, combine this with food being low on energy and high on nutrients we were in great physical health.1

Despite this, our life expectancy was a highly debatable 40-60 years and with all the advancements in medical technology we can now enjoy our 80+ years on this earth.1,2But is technology and our environment progressing so far that it is now going to shorten how many spins around the sun we get to enjoy? A scary reality is that in the US children born in 2015/2016 are expected to live shorter lives than their parents.3

Whilst determining causation of this life expectancy drop is tricky and often multifaceted, is our quest to make our lives easier, less effort and time effective having an impact? As a nutritionist I’ve seen foods which would have been enjoyed occasionally now being so readily available they are consumed sometimes even daily. In my parents generation it was a Chinese takeaway once a year. Now we see 7000 online food orders being made EVERY HOUR, and we aren’t ordering green smoothies and veggie stir-fries.4I don’t need to throw around the scary statistics of the rising obesity epidemic to get your attention…just look around. How many kids do you remember at school who were overweight? I think I had one, max. Now there are 1 in 4 kids who are overweight or obese in Australia.5

Lets explore again the time we spent as hunter-gatherers. The knowledge of local flora and fauna in the area was passed down generation to generation. We were taught how to prepare these foods ensuring we got all the nutrients we needed to survive. Now, the reported lack of confidence in cooking is leading to a higher use of food delivery services. So much so that $2.6 billion is spent on food and drink delivery through MenuLog, UberEats, Deliveroo and Foodora annually in Aus.4

Food delivery is convenient, fast, easy and simple yes, but we are missing the real point of why we eat. We eat for enjoyment sure, but also so that these vessels we call bodies can perform to their best as well as getting the most out of them for as long as possible. I’m not only talking about the obvious such as disease prevention and weight maintenance, but also memory retention, better eye sight, good quality sleep, strong bones, healthy skin, better mood and less time spent at the Drs, all things our diet can have an impact on.

Whilst there are options on your food delivery app of choice which are healthy, and we are seeing an increase in vegan and vegetarian options, it isn’t simply about the food we are putting in. It is the combination of the food we are eating with less movement that is the real clench point. In 2018, we have” food-like” substances available at our fingertips with zero energy needing to be expended, unless you count the walk from the couch to the front door. Combine this with well in excess of our energy needs to survive being taken in with the larger portion sizes of delivery foods. How do we reduce the impact this is having on our health? We have all heard the saying move more eat less, but what does this actually look like for our fast paced lives? My top 5 tips are:

  1. Get back into the kitchen and cook more. Not sure how? Our favourite celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver comes to the rescue with “Jamie’s Ministry of Food Cooking Program” all over Australia and with classes considerably subsidised by corporate partners it is accessible to everyone. Book your class here.
  1. Do a little bit of research before you eat out. What are the healthy options in your area? With the introduction of Green Goodness Co’s guide to Sydney it is even easier. Want to discover where you are going to indulge on health foods next have a look here.
  1. Walk. Walk. Walk. The more walking we do the better. Yes, exercise is REALLY important for health, even more so with our primarily sedentary lives. I’m sure you have heard of the impact it has on weight, preventing disease, and improving mood. So get a buddy and get walking. Want some new and interesting walks to do around Sydney? TimeOut has a fantastic guide on their favourite walks here.
  1. Need quick easy options but find yourself at the drive through more often than you would like? Do not fear there are options out there for you to get all the nutrients your body craves whilst still being time efficient. Sitchu has a fantastic summary of their top 9 healthy home delivery services here. I would add a 10thwith Youfoodzwhich are VERY available and affordable.
  1. Lastly, find balance. I have one rule when it comes to nutrition and that is eat well 80% of the time allowing for 20% of indulgences. If we are putting in all the vitamins, minerals and other juicy nutrients our bodies need to thrive 80% of the time, the 20% won’t have the same impact. So choose your times to treat yourself wisely.

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References

  1. http://www.jstor.org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/stable/pdf/20700569.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A37fef0e8d98c4f751b32b46576c10444
  2. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/life-expectancy-death/deaths-in-australia/contents/life-expectancy
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293_table.pdf#1
  4. http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/australias-shocking-food-delivery-bill-revealed-by-new-research/news-story/169772bd58ae0f3bd923b390c75b5769

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.001~2014-15~Main%20Features~Children’s%20risk%20factors~31

2018-05-21T15:06:22+00:00May 21st, 2018|Nutrition|