20 March 2020
The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) calls for the Australian public to act sensibly and to exercise restraint when it comes to the bulk purchasing of foods at supermarkets.
Australians are encouraged to consider the role of their diet in health, and sensibly plan ahead to be prepared during these uncertain times.
While many Australians are practising social distancing, on-going fear and uncertainty about food access while in self-isolation or lock down has seen an increase in stockpiling, leaving supermarket shelves empty.
“Panic buying places greater strain on the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society. It also puts further stress on those required to follow special diets, such as those with coeliac disease, who can only eat gluten free foods,” Tara Diversi, DAA President and Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) says.
Ms Diversi encourages Australians to create a plan for feeding their family if they need to self-isolate for 14 days. While good nutrition will not prevent you from contracting COVID-19, ensuring you are well nourished is key to looking after your health.
“Having a plan means you’re more likely to feel better prepared as this situation unfolds. It also considers the needs of others in the community. Food stockpiling only places those who are already vulnerable at greater risk of food insecurity and poor health,” Ms Diversi says.
“Start by assessing what you currently have in your pantry and freezer. Make a list of longer lasting foods that your household will eat and enjoy, and then add just a few additional items to your regular shop. Consider recipes you can batch cook and freeze to have some readymade meals available.”
Currently, the government has not announced plans to limit access to supermarkets and pharmacies.
In other countries where day-to-day movement has been restricted, food shops and pharmacies have remained open.
“In times like these, it is more important than ever to be supporting each other. Keep an eye out on your relatives and neighbours, particularly those who may need support if they were to self-isolate or fall ill,” Ms Diversi says.
For more information and recipes, see DAA’s Hot Topic. For individualised dietary advice, connect with your local Accredited Practising Dietitian. Many offer online appointments: daa.asn.au/find-an-apd/.
Source: Dietitians Association of Australia