ABOUT THE NATIONAL NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SURVEY
The 2011–13 Australian Health Survey (AHS) is the largest and most comprehensive health survey ever conducted in Australia. The survey, conducted throughout Australia, collected a range of information about health related issues, including health status, risk factors, health service usage and medications. In 2011–13, the AHS incorporated the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS). It involved the collection of detailed physical activity information using self-reported and pedometer collection methods, along with detailed information on dietary intake and foods consumed from over 12,000 participants across Australia. The nutrition component is the first national nutrition survey of adults and children (aged 2 years and over) conducted in over 15 years.
Information for the nutrition component of the NNPAS was gathered using a 24-hour dietary recall on all foods, beverages and dietary supplements consumed on the day prior to the interview. Where possible, at least eight days after the first interview, respondents were contacted to participate in a second 24-hour dietary recall via telephone interview.
The AHS sample included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people where they were randomly selected in the general population. The AHS also included an additional representative sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS) provides nutrition and physical activity results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the population level and provides an opportunity to compare results with the non-Indigenous population.
The NNPAS has been made possible by additional funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing as well as the National Heart Foundation of Australia, and the contributions of these two organisations to improving health information in Australia through quality statistics are greatly valued.
The 2011–13 AHS, and particularly the NNPAS component, was developed with the assistance of several advisory groups and expert panels. Members of these groups were drawn from Commonwealth and state/territory government agencies, non-government organisations, relevant academic institutions and clinicians. The valuable contributions made by members of these groups are greatly appreciated.
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. For more information, please refer to the FSANZ website. The ABS would like to acknowledge and thank FSANZ for providing their support, advice and expertise to the 2011-12 NNPAS.
The ABS gratefully acknowledges and thanks the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA for giving permission to adapt and use their Dietary Intake Data System including the AMPM for collecting dietary intake information as well as other processing systems and associated materials.
The ABS would like to acknowledge and thank the members of the Expert Reference Group who assisted in the development of this publication:
- Commonwealth Department of Health
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand
- Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Monash University Melbourne
- Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney
- New South Wales Department of Health
Finally, the success of the 2011–13 AHS was dependent on the very high level of cooperation received from the Australian public. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the range of statistics published by the ABS would not be possible. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
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