AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Juvenile justice Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data catalogue Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Data integration Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Burden of disease Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability eHealth Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals
Height and weight data sources Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG
NMDD NMDS NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduate Program
Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Many Australians are eating too much of some foods and not enough of others, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
In 1994, the AIHW published its first comprehensive report on Australia’s food and nutrition. Australia’s food & nutrition 2012 is the much-anticipated revised edition, and was launched today by Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, at the 2012 World Congress of the International Federation for Home Economics in Melbourne. The report highlights the key parts of the food and nutrition system from ‘paddock to plate’ and how food choices affect health and the environment.
‘The report shows that many Australians are not striking a balance between foods high in fat and sugar and more nutritious choices,’ said AIHW spokesperson Lisa McGlynn.
‘Treat’ or extra foods are generally high in energy and low in nutrients. They include takeaway items, crisps, sweet biscuits, cakes and pastries, confectionery, soft drinks and alcohol. On average, extra foods contributed to 36% of energy intake for adults and 41% for children, which is more than the recommended 0–3 serves of ‘extras’ per day (depending on age and stage).
In addition, the majority of adults and children had higher energy intakes from total sugars and saturated fat than recommended—that is, a maximum of 20% from sugars and 10% from saturated and trans fats combined.
More than 9 in 10 people aged 16 and over don’t eat the recommended 5 serves of vegetables, adolescent girls don’t eat enough dairy foods or alternatives, and 25% of men and 10% of women aged 65 and over don’t eat enough protein foods.
Poor dietary intake increases the risk of developing chronic diseases (such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers) which contribute to the total burden of disease in Australia. One estimate suggests that poor diet costs the nation $5 billion each year. This includes direct costs, such as hospitals, GP services and medicines, and indirect costs, such as sick leave and forgone earnings due to premature death.
Poor diets can also lead to obesity, which is itself a risk factor for chronic disease. The latest data show that 23% of children aged 2–16 and 60% of adults in Australia are overweight or obese.
‘There are some factors that discourage Australians from eating well and maintaining a healthy body weight,’ Ms McGlynn said.
‘The cost of healthy food is increasing at a faster rate than the cost of less healthy food, particularly in remote areas, where a healthy basket of food can cost up to 30% more than in capital cities. This may influence some people to buy less healthy foods due to limited choice and high cost.’
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those from lower socioeconomic status areas are more likely to have fewer serves of fruit and vegetables, and be overweight or obese. They are also more likely to suffer from diet-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
A companion report, Australia’s food & nutrition: in brief, is also available.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 17 July 2012
Further information: Lisa McGlynn, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1168, mob. 0408 204 164
Full reports: Australia’s food & nutrition 2012 and Australia’s food & nutrition 2012: in brief