In May 2015, CSIRO launched the CSIRO Healthy Diet Score, an online survey freely available to all Australians, which assessed an individual’s self-reported food intake against the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
Results from this survey, up until June 2016, have just been published and the findings are concerning. Of the 86,611 Australian adults that completed the survey, the average diet score was 59 out of a possible 100, with women scoring slightly higher than men (4 points). Older Australians also scored 3 – 6 points higher than younger generations.
On average, Australians reported consuming 2.7 serves of discretionary foods each day, which is beyond the average maximum recommendation of 0-2.5 serves per day. Alcohol, chocolate and confectionary, cakes and biscuits, and sugar sweetened beverages made up the top discretionary food choices.
Unsurprisingly, diet scores decreased as weight status increased, with normal weight Australians scoring over 61, compared to overweight who scored 58 and obese who scored 56. A sub-sample of 11,048 Australians further revealed that 1 in 3 adults avoid foods such as wheat/gluten (12.1%), meat (8.6%) or dairy (12%).
According the CSIRO raising the average diet score to 70/100 could help Australia mitigate against growing rates of obesity and lifestyle diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and a third of all cancers, which can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle. The advice on practically achieving this is straight forward, “halve the bad, double the good.”
How do you score? Take the survey here
For more details on the CSIRO publication visit: https://www.totalwellbeingdiet.com/media/524038/16-00679_CSIRO-Healthy-Diet-Score-2016_WEB_singlepages.pdf