4364.0.55.008 - Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/03/2015  First Issue
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KEY FINDINGS

This publication is the second release of nutrition data from the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS). It presents a comparison of usual intakes of nutrients from foods with the current Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) for Australia and New Zealand. The NRVs are a set of recommendations made by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and the New Zealand Ministry of Health for nutritional intake, based on currently available scientific knowledge.1

Usual nutrient intakes are an estimate of what people ‘usually’ eat, as opposed to what they reported eating on the particular days they were surveyed in the 2011-12 NNPAS. As NRVs are set on the basis of long term (i.e. usual) nutrient requirements, usual nutrient intakes have been used for comparison in this publication.

KEY RESULTS

  • Nearly three quarters of females (73%) and half of all males (51%) aged two years and over did not meet their calcium requirements based on their intakes from food.
  • Females were much more likely to have inadequate iron intakes from foods than males, with one in four (23%) not meeting their requirements compared with one in thirty males (3%).
  • Three in four males (76%) and two in five females (42%) aged two years and over exceeded the Upper Level of Intake (UL) for sodium (this does not include sodium added at the table or during cooking).
  • Almost all Australians met their nutritional needs for protein, vitamin C, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium. For each of these nutrients approximately 95% or more of all males and females had an adequate usual intake. 95% or more of males also met their requirements for folate, iodine and iron.
  • Almost all (approximately 95% or more) 2-3 year olds met their requirements for all nutrients except iron.
  • Almost all (approximately 95% or more) 4-8 year olds met their requirements for all nutrients except calcium and iron.

FOCUS ON FOLATES, THIAMIN AND IODINE

In Australia, most wheat flour for bread making is required to be fortified (enriched) with folic acid (a form of folate) and thiamin. If salt is used in bread making it is required to be iodised for the majority of bread types.2
  • Approximately one in twelve (9%) adult females (aged 19 and over) did not meet their requirements for folate (dietary folate equivalents) based on their intakes from foods.
  • Approximately 7% of males and 16% of females had inadequate thiamin intakes. This was consistently higher for females than for males across all age groups over 19 years.
  • 2% of males and 8% of females did not meet their iodine requirements.
  • Some young children exceeded the UL for iodine (13% of males and 6% of females aged 2-3 years).

DIFFERENCES ACROSS AGES
  • Males aged 71 years and over were less likely than younger males to meet their requirements for protein, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, selenium and zinc. Around one in seven (14%) males aged 71 years and over did not meet their requirements for protein.
  • Females aged 71 years and over were less likely than younger females to meet their requirements for protein, riboflavin and vitamin B6.
  • Young children were more likely than older age groups to exceed the ULs for zinc and iodine.


ENDNOTES

1 National Health and Medical Research Council and New Zealand Ministry of Health, 2006, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, <http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients>, last accessed 4/2/2015
2 Food Standards Australia New Zealand, 2013, Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, <http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/Pages/default.aspx>, last accessed 13/2/2015