4364.0.55.007 - Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12  
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FOOD AVOIDANCE DUE TO ALLERGY, INTOLERANCE OR ETHICAL/RELIGIOUS REASONS

While for many people, avoiding particular foods is about taste, preference or an effort to make healthy choices, for a significant minority of the population, it is not simply a matter of choice. In 2011-12, 17% of Australians aged 2 years or over (or 3.7 million people) reported avoiding a food due to allergy or intolerance and 7% (1.6 million) avoided particular foods for cultural, religious or ethical reasons see Table 14.1.

Graph Image for Persons aged 2 years and over - Proportion who avoid particular food due to allergies or intolerance, 2011-12

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Food and Nutrients, 2011-12



Food avoidance due to allergy or intolerance was most prevalent among males aged 31-50 years (17%) and females aged 51-70 years (25%). The most common type of food reported causing intolerance was Cow's milk/Dairy (4.5%), followed by Gluten (2.5%), Shellfish (2.0%) and Peanuts (1.4%). While these were the most prevalent types of specific foods that were avoided, a higher proportion of people (8.5%) reported an 'Other' food that was not specifically prompted for. 'Other' included a large variety of specific foods (such as tomatoes, oranges, bananas, and capsicum) and general food types (such as 'spicy food', 'preservatives' and 'acidic foods').

Graph Image for Persons aged 2 years and over - Type of food avoided due to allergy or intolerance(a), 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) People may report more than one type of aviodance.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Food and Nutrients, 2011-12



Food avoidance for cultural, religious or ethical reasons was highest among the 19-30 year olds (10%) and the 31-50 years group (9.0%). Pork was the most commonly avoided food (3.9%), followed by Meat (2.1%), while 1.6% specified avoiding Beef.

Graph Image for Persons aged 2 years and over - Proportion who avoid particular food for cultural, religious or ethical reasons, 2011-12

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Food and Nutrients, 2011-12