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:
The major causes of death, illness and disability in which diet and nutrition play an important role include coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, atherosclerosis, some forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, dental caries, gall bladder disease and nutritional anaemias.
Ill health generally cannot be attributed to any one dietary component alone. Diseases associated with diet are also associated with environmental, behavioural, biological and genetic factors. The complex relationship between diet and other risk factors and disease make it difficult to assess the contribution of diet to ill health.
In an optimal diet, the supply of required nutrients is adequate for tissue maintenance, repair and growth. The vitamins, minerals and proteins required to maintain the human body in good health can be met only through the intake of a well-balanced, wide variety of food.
More information on diet, nutrition and health can be found at the Strategic Inter-Governmental Nutrition Alliance (SIGNAL) website.
The dietary guidelines for Australians, developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), recommend consumption of a wide variety of nutritious food. Essential nutrients for good health are found in varying amount throughout many different food groups. Variety in a diet maximises the possibility of obtaining enough of these essential nutrients.
The dietary guidelines recommend that adults, adolescents and children:
For more information on the amounts and kinds of food that you need each day to get enough nutrients essential for good health go to the Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults.
The 1995 National Nutrition Survey indicates that:
The RDI is a level of consumption for each nutrient considered to be adequate to maintain good health and prevent deficiency diseases. These have been developed by the NHMRC.
Calcium is important for bone and tooth development and insufficient dietary calcium increases the risk of developing low bone density and osteoporosis. Zinc and magnesium are important for immune function, wound healing and muscle growth.