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) 13/12/2017  First Issue
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13 December 2017
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Growing appetite for chicken as vegetables lose favour

Australians consumed more poultry and fewer vegetables between 1995 and 2011-12, according to figures from the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

Director of ABS Health, Louise Gates, said, "Average consumption of the vegetables and legumes/beans fell by 10 per cent, with decreased consumption by teenage and adults age groups of both sexes.

"Although adults aged 51 years and over still consumed more serves of vegetables than younger people, those older adults had the biggest drop in consumption. For example, average daily vegetable intake for 51-70 year olds fell by around one-fifth (5.1 to 4.1 serves per 10,000 kJ) and for people aged 71 years and over their consumption fell by one-quarter (5.5 to 4.2 serves per 10,000 kJ)."

Between 1995 and 2011-12, average daily consumption of poultry increased by 82 per cent from 0.34 to 0.62 serves per 10,000 kJ. This contributed to a 36% increase in the consumption of the “protein food group” (including lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans) from 1.6 to 2.1 serves per 10,000 kJ.

Despite the decrease in vegetable consumption, Ms Gates said there were some signs of improvement in Australian’s dietary behaviours. “Fruit consumption is increasingly being made up of whole fruit rather than juice and the average daily consumption of ‘discretionary’ foods declined from 6.6 to 6.1 serves per 10,000 kJ largely thanks to a reduction in sugary drinks, fries/hot chips and pastry products,” Ms Gates said.

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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