By Tara Morrell
New research has raised concerns the unhealthy diet of FIFO workers could become a health crisis as the number of obese workers increases.
The government first raised concerns about unhealthy FIFO diets in a report released in April last year and has agreed that health interventions are necessary due to the severity of the situation.
But there are no official recommendations yet on what changes are going to be made to the FIFO workers’ diet.
Now, research done by ECU shows meals provided to FIFO workers are usually high in sodium and saturated fat ingredients like butter and cheese.
ECU researcher Ms Gemma Quayle suggests the main changes should be focused on the meals provided.
“At sites with self-serve dining halls, I would suggest workers limit meals to just one plate of food,” she says.
She also recommends food like ice cream and cakes could be substituted with yoghurt and fruits as a way to cut down unhealthy foods and raise nutrients.
Ms Quayle believes the changes should be implemented slowly and in accordance with each individual’s needs.
Other organisations like multinational food service provider ESS have introduced projects to help workers in mining villages live a healthier lifestyle.
ESS spokesperson, Kristen Lark, says their project, TasteLife, is focused on giving these mining villages what they need to have a healthy lifestyle by including nutrition and exercise advice.
Ms Quayle believes further research needs to be done on the diet of FIFO workers in order to know how to support changes to the FIFO diet and also what the barriers might be.