The “NEW” Australian Dietary Guidelines



Australia is facing an obesity epidemic.  The scientific evidence suggests that one of the contributing issues is the replacement of healthy, nutritious food with energy dense food with minimal nutritional value in Australian dietary patterns.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released new Australian Dietary Guidelines today.

Health professionals working with people trying to achieve a healthy diet now have access to updated scientific evidence about the best dietary patterns for Australians of all ages.

“To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, Australians need to balance physical activity with amounts of nutritious foods and drinks that meet energy needs. We all need to limit energy rich nutrient poor ‘junk foods’ that are high in saturated fat, added salt or sugar,” NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said.

A stringent review of around 55,000 scientific publications shows that the scientific evidence has strengthened about the link between diet and health.

“The evidence that links a healthy diet and reducing the risk of chronic health problems such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers is stronger. There is also stronger evidence about the kind of foods that can increase the risk of weight gain and health problems,” Professor Anderson said.

Read the full press release on the NHMRC website.

Australian Dietary Guidelines – key points

  • Good nutrition contributes significantly to maintaining healthy weight, quality of life, good physical and mental health throughout life, resistance to infection, and to protection against chronic disease and premature death.
  • The revised Guidelines are based on Systematic Literature Reviews which looked at around 55,000 pieces of peer reviewed published scientific research. This created a body of evidence on which the Guideline recommendations are based (not single studies).
  • The revised Australian Dietary Guidelines reflect the expert technical dietary modelling around 100 flexible dietary patterns based on nutrient requirements, cultural acceptability and Australian consumption patterns and the evidence for optimal health and wellbeing.
  • The evidence about what is healthy to eat and what is not so healthy has strengthened since the 2003 edition of the Dietary Guidelines.
  • There has been strong consultation throughout the revision of the Guidelines and all submissions have been carefully considered.
  • The Guidelines have been developed to help health professionals give advice to the public about their dietary choices and their health.
  • The total diet approach of the Guidelines reflects information about helping Australians eat the right foods for health, with an energy (kilojoule) intake to help achieve and/or maintain a healthy weight.
  • The Guidelines reflect stronger evidence that Australians should eat more fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals and core reduced fat dairy foods, while limiting their consumption of energy rich nutrient poor ‘junk’ foods.

This information was sourced from

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