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Assessing the 2011-13 AHS against the Australian Dietary Guidelines

(January 2017)

The Commonwealth Department of Health provided funding for a project to determine how Australian diets compare to the recommendations of the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG). The ADG specifies the number of serves per day different population sub groups should be consuming from the Five Food Groups in order to eat for health and wellbeing (NHMRC, 2013).

The food consumption data from the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) component of the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey (AHS) were assessed to answer this question. In order to determine the number of serves of each ADG food group the population consumes, a database was developed that specified the amount of each ADG food group that each NNPAS food contained. This database complements AUSNUT 2011-13, the nutrient database for the NNPAS.

The process of developing the database of ADG foods for each food in the NNPAS consisted of several key steps including development of an ADG food group classification system, determining serve sizes for each of the classifications, matching each NNPAS food directly to a classification where applicable or indirectly by developing a recipe database that enabled ingredients of mixed foods or dishes to be assigned to ADG food group classifications. Further details on each of these steps are provided below.

The database development was undertaken by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) with input from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). An Expert Reference Group (ERG) was established consisting of key persons/organisations with expertise in food, nutrition, dietary analysis and the Australian Dietary Guidelines, to inform and provide comment on the development of the dataset.

Page last updated 11 April 2024