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Intakes from supplements are not included in this publication or Australian Health Survey: Nutrition Second Results - Usual Nutrient Intakes (cat. no 4364.0.55.008). For information on selected supplements, see Australian Health Survey: Nutrition - Supplements (cat. no. 4364.0.55.010) for more information.
The 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines describes discretionary foods as being: “foods and drinks not necessary to provide the nutrients the body needs, but that may add variety. However, many of these are high in saturated fats, sugars, salt and/or alcohol, and are therefore described as energy dense. They can be included sometimes in small amounts by those who are physically active, but are not a necessary part of the diet”.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines Summary lists examples of discretionary choices as including: "cakes, biscuits; confectionary, chocolate; pastries, pies; ice confections, butter, cream, and spreads which contain predominantly saturated fats; potato chips, crisps and other fatty or salty snack foods; sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, sports and energy drinks and alcoholic drinks." Based on these definitions and the supporting documents which underpin the Australian Dietary Guidelines, foods reported within the NNPAS have been categorised as discretionary or non-discretionary. See User Guide section Discretionary Foods for more information.
Dietary energy is required by the body for metabolic processes, physiological functions, muscular activity, heat production and growth and development.3 Energy requirements vary with age, sex, body size and physical activity, so the amount of energy consumed would be expected to vary considerably throughout the population.
Energy and nutrient intakes in this publication are derived only from foods and beverages from the first 24-hour recall day. The nutrients from supplements are excluded from this analysis. No adjustment has been made to include information from the second 24-hour recall day to calculate usual intakes, see Australian Health Survey: Nutrition Second Results - Usual Nutrient Intakes (cat. no 4364.0.55.008) for more information.
Estimated Average Requirement
The Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) is a daily nutrient level estimated to meet the requirements of half the healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group. 3
Food avoidance refers to people who avoid particular foods due to:
Foods and beverages reported by respondents in the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) were collected and coded at a detailed level, but for output purposes are categorised within a food classification with major, sub-major, and minor group levels. At the broadest level (the Major group) there are 24 groups. These groups were designed to categorise foods that share a major component or common feature. The classification was developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, along with the Nutrient Database, specifically for the Australian Health Survey.
Because many foods are in fact mixtures of different ingredients, the food groups will not exclusively contain the main food of that group. For example, a beef and vegetable casserole will belong within the major group of 'Meat, poultry and game products and dishes', yet will contain vegetables and sauce or gravy.
'Cereal-based products and dishes' is a particular example of a Major group where there may be a significant proportion of other (non-cereal) ingredients in the foods. While the common feature of this food group is cereal, the foods belonging to this group are very diverse and includes biscuits, cakes, pastries, mixed pasta or rice dishes, burgers, pizza and tacos. The 'Cereal-based products and dishes' should not be confused with 'Cereal and cereal products' which contains more basic foods such as bread, plain rice, plain pasta, breakfast cereals, oats and other grains.
For more information see Appendix 1: Example foods in Major food groups.
Food security, according to the World Health Organisation definition, requires constant access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.
This topic collects information on the number of households that have experienced financial barriers in regards to purchasing food. Specifically, this topic focusses on:
Recommended usual intake of fruit
In addition to collecting information about the foods actually consumed on the previous day, the AHS also asked respondents the usual number of serves of fruit consumed in a day.
A serve is equivalent to:
*Note, while the NHMRC 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines allow fruit juice to be used occasionally as one of the daily serves of fruit, the AHS only collected usual serves of fruit (excluding juice).
**The AHS collected whole serves which does not allow strict comparability for the 4-8 year olds, rounding the recommendation up to two serves provides an indication of the proportion who would meet the recommendation. A future Australian Health Survey product will provide further comparisons with the guidelines.
In addition to collecting information about the foods actually consumed on the previous day, the 2011-12 AHS also asked people the usual number of serves of vegetables consumed in a day.
A serve is equivalent to:
**Note, the recommended usual intake of vegetables for breastfeeding women is 7.5 serves and pregnant women is 5 serves, however these population groups have not been separated from the nutrient data output for this data item.
***The AHS collected whole serves which does not allow strict comparability with the guidelines (in which some age/sex groups use half serves). The data presented have been derived by rounding the recommendation up to the whole number of serves, it is therefore likely that proportions who would meet the recommendation in particular categories are underestimates. A future Australian Health Survey product will provide further comparisons with the guidelines.
Sodium occurs in a number of different forms but is generally consumed as sodium chloride (commonly known as salt). Salt is a naturally occurring mineral needed to maintain adequate blood pressure and electrolyte balance4. It is commonly added to foods to enhance flavours and to act as a preservative. High salt intake can raise blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart failure, kidney disease, oedema and osteoporosis4.
The amounts reported in this publication include sodium naturally present in foods as well as sodium added during processing, and exclude salt added by consumers either during cooking or at the table. For these reasons, these figures are likely to be an underestimate. See the Interpretation section of the Nutrient Intake chapter of the Australian Health Survey: User's Guide, 2011-13 (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001) for more information.
The vitamins and minerals presented for each State and Territory (see Table 1.1 and Table 2.1 )are based on Day 1 intakes from foods only, (that is, not adjusted for usual intakes and exclusive of any amounts taken from dietary supplements). Although the data are presented alongside Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) such as Estimated Average Requirements, (EARs), these are for context only and do not indicate the levels of nutrient deficiency/excess intake of the population group in relation to that NRV.
In order to make assessments about the proportion of the population who are at risk of inadequate intakes over the longer term, it is necessary to consider not only the mean or median intake but also the distribution of longer-term ‘usual’ intake in the population. Usual nutrient intakes are modelled estimates of the proportion of people who usually consume particular amounts of nutrients, as opposed to what they reported eating on the particular day they were surveyed in 2011-12. Usual nutrient intakes information is available in Australian Health Survey: Nutrition Second Results - Usual Nutrient Intakes (cat. no 4364.0.55.008).
In order to assist in the interpretation of data from the 2011-12 NNPAS and particularly in comparisons with the 1995 National Nutrition Survey, there are a few key points that should be noted.
Upper level of intake
The highest average daily nutrient intake level likely to pose no adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the potential risk of adverse effects increases.3
Usual nutrient intakes are modelled estimates of the proportion of people who usually consume particular amounts of nutrients, as opposed to what they reported eating on the particular day they were surveyed in 2011-12. Usual nutrient intakes information is available in Australian Health Survey: Nutrition Second Results - Usual Nutrient Intakes (cat. no 4364.0.55.008).
1. National Health and Medical Research Council, 'Macronutrient Balance', Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, https://www.nrv.gov.au/chronic-disease/macronutrient-balance <last accessed 01/06/2015>
2. National Health and Medical Research Council, 'Calcium', Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/calcium <last accessed 01/06/2015>
3. National Health and Medical Research Council, 'Introduction', Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, https://www.nrv.gov.au/home/introduction <last accessed 01/06/2015>
4. Better Health Channel, Salt, http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Salt?open <last accessed 01/06/2015>
5. National Health and Medical Research Council, 'Sodium', Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/sodium <last accessed 01/06/2015>
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