Why Do Australians Eat Too Few Vegetables – Research Proposal Example

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The paper "Why do Australians Eat Too Few Vegetables" is a wonderful example of a research proposal on family and consumer science. It is fundamentally important to look at the reasons that Australians avoid eating vegetables. Poor dietary choices cause ill health that cost the government billions of dollars in the health budget. A healthy population is important for building a robust Australian economy. Anything that impacts on the health of the citizens is worth investigating. Chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular, and some cancers are the main causes of death as well as disability in Australia and their presence is persistently increasing.

The burden of the disease owing to poor diet is usually linked to huge intakes of energy dense-foods having high saturated sugar, salt or fat content, and rare intake of nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, fruit, and vegetables (AIHW, 2012). Excess intake of energy giving foods coupled with limited physical activity has contributed to rising cases of obesity in Australia. This is one of the huge challenges in public health facing Australia. Obesity lays a foundation for ill-health manifested in chronic disease prevalence.

It is therefore paramount to find out why Australians do not like eating vegetables. The amount of information on nutrition that Australians are presented with daily is overwhelming. Nutritional gurus with every kind of background provide advice that sometimes is contrary to core dietary guidelines, blogs, and food marketing with all kinds of opinions flaunted as facts, more often than not confuse than inform. The entire field of health and nutrition can be scaled down to simple basics that are easy to grasp. A diet that comprises of unprocessed plant foods and has low sugar and highly processed foods consistently beat all other advice in providing best long-term health.

Close to 92% of adult Australians do not eat enough vegetables and only close to 49% eat enough fruit (Abraham, Norman, Conner, 2013). Few Australians adhere to a dietary pattern that is close to what is regarded as an optimal health dietary pattern. In this research the health belief model has been adopted to explain the behavior of Australians having a low amount of vegetables in their diet. The health belief model came into being in the 1950s why social psychologists tried to explain why some individuals do not consider important health services like screening and immunization (Pitts, & Phillips, 1998).

The model has four main constructs. The first two constructs represent a specific disease while the following two constructs refer to the likely course of action that can reduce the risk or the disease severity. Perceived vulnerability or perceived susceptibility is the perceived risk of the individual of contracting the disease if he persists with the prevailing course of action.

Perceived severity describes the disease’ s seriousness and the accompanying consequences as the individual perceives (Fiske, Gilbert & Lindzey, 2010). Perceived benefits are the perceived advantages of the course of action including the level at which it reduces the disease’ s risk or the consequences’ severity. Perceived barriers describe the perceived disadvantages of taking up the recommended action and the perceived obstacles that hinder or prevent its performance successfully. The factors are usually assumed to combine to influence the possibility of performing the behavior. Consequently, high severity, high susceptibility, high benefits as well as low barriers lead to a high likelihood of adoption of the recommended action.

Australians do not take the eating of vegetables in their diets seriously until they are caught up in medical conditions that the doctor encourages them to include more vegetables in their diets. The risk of obesity and falling victim to other chronic diseases compel some Australians to include vegetables in their diets (Harari & Legge, 2001). When individuals witness a close relative or a friend confronted with a health condition that would have been prevented through high degree intake of vegetables, they start taking advice on the inclusion of vegetables in their diets seriously.

The preparation of vegetables may look tedious to many Australians who prefer processed foods and junk foods due to limited time.

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