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Healthy diet leads to better mental health

Eating healthily not only benefits your body but also your mental health.

That’s the message of a new campaign aimed at young people in Latrobe City.

The Fab Food, Marvellous Mood campaign is a project of the Latrobe City Youth Council.

The campaign encourages young people to eat a diet rich in whole foods (fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and to eat less sugar, snack foods, take-away foods and high-energy foods and/or highly processed foods, to feel better mentally as well as physically.

“This is a valuable message to be spread to young people to help instil healthy habits for life,” Latrobe City Council Mayor, Cr Sharon Gibson said.

“The message will be shared in the community by six playful food characters, a water bottle character and puns, with each character linked to a health benefit.

“The community will see promotional bus wraps on Latrobe Valley Bus Lines buses that travel throughout Latrobe City, as well as posters, magnets and stickers in the community, social media posts on Council’s Facebook page and t-shirts for events.”

Promotional material will be displayed in Latrobe City venues including Latrobe Leisure centres, libraries, early learning centres, sporting grounds and more. Material will also be shared with schools and the wider community.

Council received funding from the Latrobe Health Assembly, through Food For All Latrobe Valley, to deliver the campaign which aligns with the Living Well Latrobe Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan.

Council also contributed funding and in-kind support.

The campaign came about after Food For All Latrobe Valley facilitated community consultation workshops discussing how food security solutions could be implemented locally.

During these workshops, community members raised the issue of mental health as a barrier to people consuming a healthy diet and also a potential consequence of unhealthy diets over time.

“Research shows that healthy diets have been linked to reduced risk of experiencing depression and that unhealthy diets, such as those high in processed foods, are associated with increased depression and anxiety,” Cr Gibson said.

In Latrobe City, 17% of people experience high or very high psychological distress, significantly higher than the Gippsland (14.3%) and Victorian state averages (12.6%). More than half of people in Latrobe City do not meet the guidelines for the consumption of fruit and vegetables.

“I am truly passionate about the Fab Food, Marvellous Mood project, as I know many people who suffer psychological distress and mental health issues. I want to help as many people as I can by spreading our message,” Latrobe City Youth Council Mayor, Natasha Murcott said.

The project will be launched at Morwell Recreation Reserve, Travers Street, Morwell on Thursday 18 March 2021

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