Promoting Healthy Eating – Government

The Government promotes healthy eating by through developing dietary guidelines, developing food policies and requirements, and monitoring the population’s nutrition. We look at the Government’s nutrition surveys, and two food models – the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating – through which the Government aims to educate people to improve their eating behaviours.

Nutrition Surveys

Nutrition surveys investigate people’s food and drink consumption, and food related habits and attitudes.  They are usually conducted as questionnaires, interviews and mental recall over a short period of time, which means the data received can sometimes be biased as people may not always recall the truth (deliberately or not).

The Government uses data from the surveys to:

  • help develop appropriate food and nutrition policy
  • evaluate and guide nutrition promotion programs and food models like the dietary guidelines
  • develop appropriate food composition regulations, such as mandatory folate fortification in bread
  • map trends

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

The Australian Guide for Healthy Eating is now part of the Australian Dietary Guidelines.  It’s a food selection guide which visually represents the proportion of the five food groups recommended for consumption each day.

It looks like a plate divided into five groups (fruit, vegetables, cereals, meats/eggs/tofu/legumes, dairy), each containing sample foods across a variety of cultures from the food group.  The size of each section represents the proportion of energy that food group should provide to one’s diet.  It encourages people to eat a variety of foods, drink plenty of water, and limit oils and high fat/salt/sugar foods.

Australian Dietary Guidelines

The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide information on the types and amounts of foods, food groups and dietary patterns that aim to:

  • promote health and wellbeing
  • reduce the risk of diet-related conditions
  • reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The five guidelines are:

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious foods and drinks to meet your energy needs.

Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five food groups every day:

  • plenty of vegetables of different types and colours, and legumes/beans
  • fruit
  • grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain
  • lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
  • milk and milk products (mostly reduced fat)

and drink plenty of water.

Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol.

Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding.

Care for your food; prepare and store it safely.

Answering questions on the AGHE and the DGAA