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Food Measures Database

 

 

Before population food and nutrient intakes can be estimated from a dietary recall such as that used in the 2011–13 Australian Health Survey (AHS), you need to know how much of each food and beverage was eaten by individuals in the survey.

The AUSNUT 2011–13 food measures database contains 16,152 measures for the 5,740 foods and beverages consumed during the 2011–12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) ) and the 2012‒13 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS) components of the AHS. Therefore the values reflect the food supply during this time period.

Measures data reported

Survey respondents in the AHS were able to report the amount of foods and beverages eaten in the last 24 hours using pictures in a Food Model Booklet (ABS, 2010) or by identifying food specific portions. Either way, the amounts of foods and beverages reported as consumed need to be converted into a gram weight amount before the information can be used to estimate consumption and nutrient intakes for the population.

The Food Model Booklet allowed a respondent to capture the amount of each food and beverage eaten using pictures of common household items such as cups, glasses, bowls, teaspoon/tablespoons, plates and containers, each with a known volume (in mL). For these measures a density (g/mL) is needed to convert the volume of the food or beverage consumed into a gram amount.  

Where respondents reported consuming foods and beverages typically sold in set portions such as an apple, a slice of bread or a packet of potato crisps, a gram amount is needed for each food specific portion that reflects the typical size of each of the products available during the time of the survey.  

Because of this AUSNUT 2011–13 Food Measures Database contains information on both densities and a range of food specific portions.

Sources of measures data

AUSNUT 2011–13 incorporates measures data from a range of sources.

To help users identify where the measures data comes from, each measure in AUSNUT 2011–13 is assigned a derivation code which indicates how the measure was derived. Additional information is provided in the source field to enable users to put the derivation code in context.

The derivation code names used in AUSNUT 2011–13 for measures were:

  • Analysed – measures data derived using analytical data generated by a laboratory (for specific gravity) or manual weighing undertaken by FSANZ
  • Label Data – measures data based on product label information or manufacturer website information
  • Estimated– measures data calculated in some way
  • Imputed – measures data imputed from a similar food or beverage
  • Borrowed – measures data borrowed from international measures databases developed for other national nutrition surveys (used almost exclusively for density values)
  • Industry – measures data based on analysis undertaken by the food industry.

For information on the derivation of measures data for each food and beverage published in AUSNUT 2011–13, see the AUSNUT 2011–13 Food Measures Database.

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