4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/05/2014   
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Contents >> Nutrition


A healthy eating pattern is fundamental to the maintenance of good health and well-being. Healthy eating benefits almost every aspect of our health, throughout our lifetime. While many Australians enjoy a varied and healthy diet, there is still considerable room for improvement. Health problems that are linked to poor eating patterns such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, place an enormous burden on individuals, families and society as a whole.1

The nutrition component of the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey is the first national nutrition survey of adults and children (aged 2 years and over) conducted in over 15 years. The last National Nutrition Survey was conducted in 1995 as a joint project between the ABS and then Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services. Since then, the only nationally representative nutrition data has been from 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (which included children aged 2 to 16 years), conducted principally by the CSIRO and the University of South Australia.

The high level objectives for the collection and reporting of food and nutrition data in the 2011-12 NNPAS were to:

  • determine food and nutrient intakes in the population as a whole
  • enable monitoring and reporting of the adequacy of food and nutrient intakes against national dietary guidelines and nutrient reference values (NRVs) for appropriate age groups
  • enable comparison of food and nutrient intakes to those reported in previous national surveys, such as the 1995 National Nutrition Survey, 2007 National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey
  • inform the development and evaluation of national food regulatory standards.

The 2011-12 NNPAS collected three different types of dietary data:
  • 24-hour dietary recall of food, beverages and supplements (on two separate days)
  • usual dietary behaviours
  • whether currently on a diet and for what reason.

The ABS gratefully acknowledges and thanks the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for giving permission to adapt and use their Dietary Intake Data System including the Automated Multiple-Pass Method (AMPM) for collecting dietary intake information as well as other processing systems and associated materials.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ ) was contracted to provide advice throughout the survey development, processing and collection phases of the 2011-12 NNPAS, and to provide a nutrient database for the coding of foods and supplements consumed. The ABS would like to acknowledge and thank FSANZ for providing their support, advice and expertise to 2011-12 NNPAS.


1 Department of Health, 2008, Nutrition and Healthy Eating, <http://health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-food-index.htm.>, Last accessed 05/05/2014. Back

This section contains the following subsection :
      24-hour Dietary Recall
      Food Intake
      Discretionary Foods
      Nutrient Intake
      Usual Nutrient Intakes
      Food and Measure Coding
      Data Quality
      Interpretation of Results

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