4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2015   
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CHILDREN'S RISK FACTORS

Healthy practices established early in life, such as a balanced diet with sufficient fruit and vegetables, may continue into adolescence and adulthood, thereby reducing a person's risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Conversely, risk factors such as being overweight or obese in childhood may increase a person's risk of developing such health conditions later in life.

Body Mass Index

In 2014-15, around one in four (27.4%) children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese, comprised of 20.2% overweight and 7.4% obese. There has been no change in the proportion of children who were overweight or obese since 2011-12 (25.7%).

Graph Image for Children aged 5-17 years - Body Mass Index, 2007-08 to 2014-15

Source(s): National Health Survey, 2014-15



Daily intake of fruit and vegetables

The 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a minimum number of serves of fruit and vegetables each day for children, depending on their age and sex, to ensure good nutrition and health[1]. More information about the guidelines is available in the Glossary.

In 2014-15, 68.1% of children aged 2-18 years met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit, while 5.4% met the guidelines for serves of vegetables. Only one in twenty (5.1%) children met both guidelines.

Girls were more likely than boys to meet recommended intakes for fruit (71.8% compared with 65.0%), but the proportions of girls and boys meeting recommended intakes for vegetables were similar (6.3% and 4.3% respectively).

On average, children aged 2-18 years consumed 2 serves of fruit and 1.9 serves of vegetables each day in 2014-15.

Milk consumption

Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, which is important for forming strong and healthy bones. In 2014-15, almost all children (97.3%) aged 2-18 years consumed milk. The majority of children usually consumed cow's milk (93.1%), while 2.2% of children usually consumed soy milk.

2011-12 dietary recall information

In 2011-12, detailed dietary information was collected through a 24-hour recall of foods, beverages and supplements. For more information on dietary intakes see Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients (cat. no. 4364.0.55.007) and Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes (cat. no. 4364.0.55.008).

Further analysis using the 24-hour recall information from 2011-12 will assess Australians' usual intake of fruit and vegetables against the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines. This is scheduled for release in mid-2016.

ENDNOTES

1 National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council. <https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines.pdf >; last accessed 03/12/2015.