4364.0.55.012 - Australian Health Survey: Consumption of Food Groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2011-12  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/05/2016  First Issue
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11 May 2016
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Australians failing to meet dietary guidelines

Most Australians do not meet the minimum recommended serves for the five major food groups, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

The report shows that Australian diets are not in line with the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines, which recommend minimum serves for vegetables, fruit, dairy products, lean meats and alternatives, and grain-based foods.

ABS Director of Health, Louise Gates said that adults and children over eight consumed an average of 2.7 serves of vegetables, rather than the 5 serves recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines, according to the latest results from the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.

"Less than 4 per cent of the population consumed enough vegetables and legumes or beans each day," said Ms Gates.

"One in 10 was meeting the guidelines for dairy products, while one in seven consumed the minimum number of serves of lean meats and alternatives per day."

"Among the five food groups, fruits and grains had the best compliance, with nearly one in three people consuming the minimum recommended number of serves for each group. However, one-third of the fruit serves was from juice and dried fruit, and two-thirds of the grains and cereals were from refined grains rather than whole grain or high fibre sources," said Ms Gates.

The report also found that over one-third of the population’s total daily energy intake came from energy-dense, nutrient-poor ‘discretionary foods’ (such as sweetened beverages, alcohol, cakes, confectionary and pastry products).

More details are available in Australian Health Survey: Consumption of food groups from Australian Dietary Guidelines (cat. no. 4364.0.55.012), available for free download from the ABS website, https://www.abs.gov.au.

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