4364.0.55.009 - Australian Health Survey: Nutrition - State and Territory results, 2011-12  
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Northern Territory - Key Facts – Food and Nutrients, 2011-12

FOODS CONSUMED

How much food was consumed in the Northern Territory?
  • In the Northern Territory (NT), during 2011-12, people aged two years and over consumed an estimated 3.7 kilograms of foods and beverages (including water) per day, made up of a wide variety of foods.

Foods consumed

In the Northern Territory, 5% of people aged two years and over met the recommended usual daily intake of vegetables and 49% of people met the recommended usual daily intake of fruit, which was similar to the national results.1

Similar proportions consumed the following foods when compared with the national results:
  • ‘Cereals and cereal products’ (87% compared with 89%)
  • ‘Meat, poultry and game products and dishes’ (71% compared with 69%)
  • ‘Milk products and dishes’ (82% compared with 85%)
  • ‘Vegetable products and dishes’ (72% compared with 75%)

Northern Territorians were more likely than all Australians to consume:
  • ‘Fish and seafood products’ (22% compared with 17%)
  • Beer (21% of adults in NT compared with 14% of all Australian adults)

Northern Territorians were less likely than all Australians to consume:
  • Tea (28% compared with 38%)
  • Coffee (37% compared with 46%)
  • Regular breads and bread rolls (62% compared with 66%)
  • ‘Cereal based products and dishes’ (68% compared with 72%)
    • Sweet biscuits (21% compared with 24%)
    • Savoury biscuits (12% compared with 17%)
  • 'Fats and oils' (38% compared with 46%)
  • ‘Fruit products and dishes’ (53% compared with 60%)
    • Apples and pears (23% compared with 26%)
    • Citrus fruit (10% compared with 15%)
  • Dairy milk (60% compared with 68%)
  • Yoghurt (11% compared with 16%)
  • Cheese (25% compared with 32%)
  • Potatoes (25% compared with 31%)
  • Cabbage, cauliflower and similar brassica vegetables (8% compared with 10%)
  • Peas and beans (8% compared with 10%)
  • 'Confectionary' (20% compared with 31%)
  • Wine (13% of adults in NT compared with 16% of all Australia adults)

For the full list of foods consumed see NT Table 3.1.

Graph Image for Persons aged 2 years and over - Proportion consuming selected food groups, Northern Territory and Australia, 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) Confectionery and cereal/nut/fruit/seed bars

Source(s): National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, 2011-12



Discretionary food
  • Northern Territorians obtained 38% of their energy from 'discretionary foods'. This was higher than the Australian average of 35%.
  • Adults (aged 19 years and over) obtained 38% of daily energy from discretionary foods. The main food groups contributing to the total energy consumed from discretionary foods were ‘alcoholic beverages’ (8.5%), ‘cereal based products and dishes’ (7.5%), and ‘non-alcoholic beverages’ (5.3%).
  • Northern Territorian adults derived a higher proportion of their daily discretionary energy from alcoholic beverages when compared with all Australian adults (9% compared with 6%).
  • Children (aged 2-18 years) obtained 39% of daily energy from discretionary foods. The main food groups contributing to the total energy consumed from discretionary foods were ‘cereal based products and dishes’ (13.5%) followed by ‘non-alcoholic beverages’ (5.8%) and ‘meat, poultry and game products and dishes’ (3.2%).
For more information see NT Table 5.1.

ENERGY AND NUTRIENTS

Energy
  • The average energy intake for people aged 19 years and over from NT was similar to the national average for both males (10,078kJ compared with 9,954kJ) and females (7,359kJ compared with 7,420kJ). Total energy intake is likely to be an under-estimate due to under-reporting.
  • Carbohydrates contributed the largest proportion of total energy for Northern Territorians (similar to all Australians), supplying 45% on average with the balance of energy coming from fat (30%), protein (19%) and dietary fibre (2%). Alcohol also provided 5% of energy intake for adults in the NT. These are within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges and within the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommended alcohol intake.
For more information see NT Table 1.1 and NT Table 2.1

Selected macro and micro nutrients
  • Almost half of all men (47%) and nearly one in four women (24%) in the Northern Territory consumed alcohol on the day before interview (see NT Table 3.1 for more information).
  • In 2011-12, the average daily consumption of calcium for women aged 19 years and over in the NT was 695mg. This is below the estimated average requirement (which is 840mg for females aged 19-50 years and 1100mg for females aged 51 years and over). See NT Table 1.1 for more information.
  • Males in the Northern Territory had an average intake of salt (2,705mg) that exceeded the adult upper level of intake of 2,300mg. See NT Table 1.1 for more information.


FOOD AVOIDANCE
  • In 2011-12, 17% of Northern Territorians aged two years or over reported avoiding particular foods due to allergy or intolerance.
  • Around 6% of people in NT avoided particular foods for cultural, religious or ethical reasons.
See NT Table 6.1 for more information.

FOOD SECURITY

Around 4.7% of people were living in a household in the NT that, in the previous 12 months, had run out of food and had not been able to afford to buy more and 2.6% went without food when they couldn’t afford to buy any more. See NT Table 7.1 for more information.


FURTHER INFORMATION

In the Northern Territory around 23% of the population are living in Very Remote areas. As Very Remote areas of Australia and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (and the remainder of the Collection Districts in which these communities were located) were excluded, this may have an effect on aggregate estimates produced for this Territory. See Explanatory Notes for more information. Also refer to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (NATSINPAS).

See Further information for definitions and more detailed explanations relating to this analysis.

ENDNOTE:
1. The proportion of persons meeting the recommended intakes for fruit and vegetables were sourced from the Australian Health Survey 2011-13 ( 2011-12 Core component).