This message was really brought home to the Bendigo’s Biggest Winner participants who took part in supermarket tours this week.
Led by Bendigo Community Health Services’ dietician Melissa Killen, the participants were amazed by the different fat, sugar and fibre content in similar looking products.
They learned that low fat is not always the best (low fat can mean higher sugar content) and they should use only the 100g column on labels to get a real comparison, as serving sizes differ for each manufacturer.
A handy checklist from Melissa gave them a guide to the levels of sugar, fat, sodium and fibre they should be looking for.
As one person said, “Most of us know some of this already, but it was great to have a dietician explain why, offer alternatives – for snacks, for example – and be able to answer all our questions. Who would have thought one cracker biscuit brand could have five times the fat of another brand?”
The two tours were sponsored by the Healthy Communities – the Prevention Community Model run by the City of Greater Bendigo, for which St John of God Hospital, organiser of Bendigo’s Biggest Winner, is very grateful.
The Greater Bendigo council, UFS Pharmacy in View Street and Lifestyle Fitness 24 hour gym are assisting with 12 week health challenge.
The hospital’s Bronwyn Wheatley said having community partners meant 250 people could be assisted this year to improve their health and lifestyle choices.