Fed: Aussies eat out more, but choosing healthier foods

28 July, 2010

Australians might be eating out more than they did last year but they're opting for healthier tucker, new research shows.

Fifteen per cent of the 1010 Australians polled in April this year, said they go out for breakfast once a week or more.

Thirty-two per cent enjoy dining out for an evening meal each week while 38 per cent go out for for lunch.

Overall, the Galaxy Research found 20 per cent of Australians aged 18 or older were eating out more this year than in 2009, with one in three Australians going out for a meal once a week.

But the American Express Dining Insights Research also found one in four Australians were ordering healthier meals than they were 12 months ago.

"Australians have a love affair with eating out but more and more they are balancing up the need to look after their health and their waistline," said Geoff Begg, Vice President of Merchant Services Australia at American Express.

One in five people claimed to have increased their salad consumption.

And on a state by state basis, Western Australia scored the highest health wise, with people aged fifty years and older twice as likely to have increased their consumption of healthy meals.

Victorians in the same category recorded only a 17 per cent increase on last year.

"More than ever, Australians are better educated about what they are eating and the area of demand is great tasting food that is good for you," said John Hart, CEO of Restaurant and Catering Australia.

The Dining Insights study revealed it was the 18 to 34-year-olds choosing healthy meals in NSW, with 33 per cent opting for salads when eating out. This compared with only 12 per cent of those over 50.

More men are choosing to eat healthy meals when eating out in Victoria and NSW compared to women, while in South Australia and Queensland it's the women who are choosing to eat healthy meals.

It's almost evenly split in WA while South Australians aged 35 to 49 are predominantly less likely to eat more salads when dining out, dropping from 21 per cent in the 18 to 34 year age group to 11 per cent for those aged 35 to 49.

Source: AAP NewsWire