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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Dietary energy is derived from the macronutrient content of foods. The energy-yielding macronutrients are: protein, fat, carbohydrate and alcohol, with small amounts of additional energy provided by dietary fibre and organic acids.

Imbalances in the proportion of energy derived from macronutrients are associated with increased risk of chronic diseases. Reference ranges known as Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) form part of the recommendations for optimising the balance of intake of each of the macronutrients to lower chronic disease risk while allowing for adequate micronutrient intakes. AMDRs are set for healthy people who are maintaining their body weight, and are not necessarily appropriate for weight loss or the management of specific health conditions. Usual intakes outside of the AMDR indicate imbalance in the contribution of energy from each of the macronutrients, and an increased risk of chronic disease over time.

Proportion of energy from macronutrients - Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR)

Lower limit of AMDR (%) (a)Upper limit of AMDR (%) (a)


(a) National Health and Medical Research Council and New Zealand Ministry of Health, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, 2006 <https://www.nrv.gov.au/chronic-disease/macronutrient-balance>

Approximately half of all Australians aged two years and over (51%) had a usual intake of carbohydrate as a proportion of total energy below the lower limit of the AMDR. More than two in three 51-70 year olds (70% of males and 68% of females) had an intake less than this lower limit of energy from carbohydrate. Almost no Australians (0.1%) aged two years and over had a usual intake of carbohydrates as a proportion of total energy above the upper limit of the AMDR.

Approximately one in eight males (13%) and one in six females (16%) had a usual intake of fat above the upper end of the recommended range of the proportion of total energy from fat. Amongst 14-18 year-olds, approximately one in five (22% of females and 19% of males) exceeded the upper boundary of the AMDR for the proportion of total energy from fat.

Approximately one in three children (30% of males and 33% of females) aged 2-18 years had a usual intake less than the lower end of the recommended intake of protein as a proportion of total energy, compared with approximately one in eight adults (13% of males and 11% of females).