Return to the simple life would improve health

A HERVEY Bay woman believes a return to the simple life would improve the community members' health following a call for improvements to fast food dietary guidelines in a bid to cut salt intake.

Cancer Council Queensland's request followed the release of a Medical Journal of Australia study looking at sodium amounts in fast food sold by companies such as McDonald's, Domino's, KFC and Pizza Hut.

The study found generally sodium levels had fallen in more than 300 fast food products in the four-year period from 2009 to 2012 but also that those reductions had been small and more should be done to encourage companies to do more for our health.

Cancer Council Queensland has jumped on the bandwagon calling for all levels of government to show leadership in reducing salt levels in fast food.

Growing up in the 40s and 50s, baby Boomer Lyn Smith can recall the importance of the family cow - whose name has inevitably been forgotten over time - to her diet.

"You lived within your means, which meant eating habits were very simple," the Hervey Bay woman, born in 1946, told the Chronicle.

"We always had a cow tied up out the back, which mum or dad would milk. So we had hordes of milk, which of course meant we had cream, you could skim the cream off the top."

She remembers there were no packaged foods in the cupboards at home, and no place for colourful ads promoting the latest must-have ready-made food product on black and white televisions.

What she did have was fresh fruit, vegetables, stews and maybe part of a can of beetroot or something similarly simple.

Ms Smith doesn't get surprised reading about obesity, diabetes and other health problems seemingly becoming more prevalent as the generations pass.

And believes, aside from dietary changes, lifestyle is the other main factor contributing to a decline in the health of the region.

"The obvious thing is you played sport, were involved in all the athletics in school and that, and then after school you played outside," she said.

"Until I married, there was no such thing in our house as TV; we had bigger families, got out and played games, and half the time never even had a ball, you just made your own fun."

She believes a return to the simple life would improve health.

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