4805.0 - National Nutrition Survey: Nutrient Intakes and Physical Measurements, Australia, 1995  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/12/1998   
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December 17, 1998
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Joint report puts spotlight on Australian diet

Australians consume more energy, fat, cholesterol and alcohol and less vitamins and minerals on weekends than on weekdays, according to a report released jointly today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.

The report presents data from the National Nutrition Survey, a project funded by the ABS and Commonwealth and State health agencies. It provides detailed information on nutrient intake and physical measurements of Australians aged two years or more.

Some of the findings from the report are:

  • The main sources of energy in Australians' diets are bread, milk and potatoes. Fruit juices and drinks also made a moderate contribution for children and adolescents, as did soft drinks for adolescents. Daily intake of energy was larger for males than females, and peaked at 16-18 years of age for males and females.
  • Over half of calcium intake was provided by milk products, representing 30-45% from dairy milk, about 10% from cheese and about 5% from frozen milk products. The contribution of most milk products was higher for children aged 2-11 years than other ages, except for cheese.
  • The major sources of iron intake were breakfast cereals, bread and meat.
  • Adults born in East Asia consumed larger amounts of protein, total carbohydrate, starch and cholesterol than adults born elsewhere. They also ate smaller amounts of fats, sugars and dietary fibre.
  • More energy, fat and starch were consumed in winter than in other seasons, whereas more moisture (water) and sugars were consumed in summer.
  • Most children and adolescents had a normal weight in relation to their height, with very few children being classified as underweight. Over 85% of children aged 2-8 years had a normal weight for height and approximately 5% were overweight. Approximately 75% of 9-18 year olds were in the normal range, and about 23% were overweight or at risk of overweight. For adults, 45% of men and 29% of women were considered to be overweight with a further 18% of both men and women classified as obese.
  • 48% of people aged 65 years and over were hypertensive, compared to 23% of people aged 45-64 years and less than 5% of people aged 16-44 years. Classification was based on use of blood pressure medication and measured blood pressure.

Details are in National Nutrition Survey: Nutrient Intakes and Physical Measurements, Australia, 1995 (cat. no. 4805.0), available from ABS bookshops. A summary of findings from the publication is available from this site.