4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2015
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CHILDREN'S RISK FACTORS
Healthy practices established early in life, such as a balanced diet with sufficient fruit and vegetables, may continue into adolescence and adulthood, thereby reducing a person's risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Conversely, risk factors such as being overweight or obese in childhood may increase a person's risk of developing such health conditions later in life.
Body Mass Index
In 2014-15, around one in four (27.4%) children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese, comprised of 20.2% overweight and 7.4% obese. There has been no change in the proportion of children who were overweight or obese since 2011-12 (25.7%).
Source(s): National Health Survey, 2014-15
Daily intake of fruit and vegetables
The 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a minimum number of serves of fruit and vegetables each day for children, depending on their age and sex, to ensure good nutrition and health. More information about the guidelines is available in the Glossary.
In 2014-15, 68.1% of children aged 2-18 years met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit, while 5.4% met the guidelines for serves of vegetables. Only one in twenty (5.1%) children met both guidelines.
Girls were more likely than boys to meet recommended intakes for fruit (71.8% compared with 65.0%), but the proportions of girls and boys meeting recommended intakes for vegetables were similar (6.3% and 4.3% respectively).
On average, children aged 2-18 years consumed 2 serves of fruit and 1.9 serves of vegetables each day in 2014-15.
Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, which is important for forming strong and healthy bones. In 2014-15, almost all children (97.3%) aged 2-18 years consumed milk. The majority of children usually consumed cow's milk (93.1%), while 2.2% of children usually consumed soy milk.
2011-12 dietary recall information
In 2011-12, detailed dietary information was collected through a 24-hour recall of foods, beverages and supplements. For more information on dietary intakes see Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients (cat. no. 4364.0.55.007) and Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes (cat. no. 4364.0.55.008).
Further analysis using the 24-hour recall information from 2011-12 will assess Australians' usual intake of fruit and vegetables against the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines. This is scheduled for release in mid-2016.
1 National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council. <https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines.pdf >; last accessed 03/12/2015.
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