West Australians love their pizza and pasta and happily wash them down with beer or wine — but we have lost our sweet tooth.

Shedding new light on the old saying that you are what you eat, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has surveyed thousands of Australians to learn what tickles our tastebuds.

The first nutrition survey shows West Australians aged two and above consume an estimated 3.3kg of food and drink a day, just above the national mark of 3.1kg.

Although WA adults eat meat and dairy roughly at the same rate as in the Eastern States, there are some differences.

Leading the way, 38 per cent of West Australians are more likely to go for high-carb, cereal-based dishes such as pasta, pizza and burgers, compared with 35 per cent for the rest of the country.

WA adults are also the biggest consumers of alcohol, with 39 per cent enjoying a tipple versus the national average of 32 per cent.

But West Australians do not go for sweet biscuits, fruit, confectionery and sugary foods such as honey, jams and sweet sauces compared with other States.

WA women also had less calcium than recommended and boys and men ate too much salt.

The results also reveal big differences between WA men and women. Females are more likely to enjoy chocolate, cheese and coffee.

In one of the biggest gaps, almost 60 per cent of women have a coffee hit during the day compared with 35 per cent of men.

Manager of Mt Lawley’s Three Coins Italian Trattoria, Annalisa Trequattrini, said pizza and pasta’s simplicity was the key. “They are the most simple thing that you can do but at the same time are very tasty, ” she said. “You can taste the fresh ingredients.”

Dietitians Association of Australia spokeswoman Charlene Grosse said the results indicated WA people needed more fruit and vegetables, with just 7 per cent meeting vegetable guidelines, and should cut back on calories and nutrient poor discretionary foods such as sugary and salty snacks, fast food and alcohol.

© The West Australian

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