Australia's NEST Urges Campaign for Healthier Lifestyle

By Czarina Ara Lasco

Nov 11, 2016 06:00 AM EST

A new wellness program in Newcastle's New South Wales City aims to provide people with better ideas and suggestions for a more effective shopping leading to a healthier lifestyle. It is formulated to address to growing need of the city in terms of maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle together with a handy budget.

The Nutrition Education Sustenance Training (NEST) program that has been running for a few years is run by the charity OzHarvest, Australia's leading food source charity. According to its coordinator Lea Browning, the need for assistance in the Hunter region is likely to be more significant these days.

"I think the art of cooking, shopping within a budget has been lost. A lot of people don't know how to cook anymore. It's too easy to grab something processed," Browning said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2014 to 2015, about 63 percent of Aussies were said to be overweight or obese. During the same period, one in four children aged five to 17 were either obese or overweight.

Run for over a number of weeks, the NEST program seeks to teach people with practical techniques in cooking and budgeting.

According to Browning, people for all over the country, from adolescents to middle-aged people, had attended.

"The aim is to teach and nurture people in new skills in the kitchen, [and] nutritional information.[We give] just some nice, easy, simple tips ... to get people back into cooking, more aware of what's going into their mouths, how healthy their food is, and all to keep it within a nice, affordable budget," Browning shared.

She held that additional cooking classes must be held in the community as it was one of the mostly needed to achieve the purpose of the program.

Browning sid, "A lot of people don't tend to eat because they live on their own. They can't be bothered cooking, or it's too hard. I think they've just had hard lives a lot of them, and they need this to make them feel more confident and part of the community again. A lot of people want to make healthier food choices. More education [is needed]; start at the schools so they're learning at a young age where their food comes from, how easy it is to cook and grow something, and what they can do with themselves if they just really put their mind to it."

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