The 2017 Archibull Prize has taken another step forward by adding health and nutrition to the list of topics students can investigate, reflect and take action on
With the recent release of the Food Sustainability Index (FSI) which has three pillars of the FSI—sustainable agriculture, nutritional challenges and food loss and waste—all linking to the debate about the future of agricultural production in Australia.
Overall, Australia came 8th out of the 25 countries measured in the FSI. This is one of the lowest rankings for a developed country, suggesting room for improvement.
Importantly even though Australia scores strongly on food waste and loss (ranked 2nd in the index), nutritional challenges are identified as a particular issue for the country. Australia ranks 16th in the nutritional challenges pillar, well below other developed countries such as France, Japan and South Korea. This suggests that a focus on a healthy diet is a key priority for the country’s policymakers. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has warned about growing rates of obesity in the country,6 with current figures indicating that 63% of adults are either overweight or obese.7
The Archibull Prize has been recognised as a world renowned program in its ability to statistically measure students awareness, appreciation and behaviour change
With 63% of Australian adults now obese what did The Archibull Prize survey show us about student eating habits and knowledge about what is healthy food
Here is what we found out
I will leave the in depth analysis to our evaluator Renshaw-Hitchen but its clear young people know what food is healthy and what food is not. Does knowledge alone translate to healthy weight outcomes???? Whilst its out of my area of expertise history would tells us unlikely. Looking forward to the students big ideas on how we reverse the obesity trend in Australia.
You will note we do not have grains on our list. Previous experience has shown us students have little knowledge of what “grains” are beyond rice and in the main are relatively unaware that wheat becomes bread and barley becomes milo etc and that mung beans are a grain. The grains industry has a lot of work to do in this space and they off to a good start with these excellent resources created by AgCommunicators