Australian Health Survey: usual nutrient intakes


​​​​​​​Australians need more calcium

In a joint first between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), estimates of Australians’ usual intake of nutrients have been produced and calcium is found to be lacking.

“The results show that only one in four females and one in two males met their calcium requirements from food” said Wendy Davis from the ABS.

Calcium is a mineral required for strong, healthy bones with low calcium intake being linked to osteoporosis, a low bone density condition. Dairy foods are the richest source of calcium in the Australian diet.

“For females aged 12-18 years, or over 50 years, calcium requirements are higher than for other age groups." said Ms Davis "Only about one in ten females in these age groups had adequate calcium intakes.

“Iron is another important nutrient for which females have higher requirements in many age groups.

“One in four females had inadequate iron intakes compared to only one in thirty males.”

Low iron intakes can lead to fatigue, tiredness and decreased immunity. Cereal products and meat are the primary dietary sources of iron in Australia.

New analysis of the Australian Health Survey (AHS) tells us whether Australians are consuming the required amount of a variety of nutrients. The Usual Nutrient Intakes release of the AHS provides information on a range of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as caffeine and alcohol intakes.

Further information is available in Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes (cat. no. 4364.0.55.008) available for free download from the ABS website

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.
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