The National Diet and Physical Activity Survey


The National Children’s Diet and Physical Activity Survey, undertaken in 2007, studied the eating and physical activity habits of 4000 Australian children aged between 2-15 years. The report is available at:  http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/phd-nutrition-childrens-survey

The Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey has shown that 72 per cent of 2-16 year old children were of a healthy weight, but 17 per cent were overweight, 6 per cent obese and 5 per cent were underweight.

The survey results also indicated that 69 per cent of children met the physical activity guidelines of at least one hour of moderate or vigorous exercise each day.

The survey collected data on food intake, physical activity levels and the physical measurements of over 4000 children across Australia and is the first survey of its kind to involve both Government and the food industry.

For more information and fact sheets on this survey at: http://www.health.gov.au/nutritionmonitoring

The survey, which cost $3 million, was jointly funded by AFGC, the Department of Health and Ageing and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.  It was undertaken by the CSIRO and the University of South Australia and the data gathering phase was completed by October 2007.

The project was managed by a steering group that was advised on the design and execution of the survey by a technical reference group of independent experts.

The food and grocery industry considers that Australia’s ability to reduce health-related conditions requires:

  • comprehensive, reliable and current data on what Australians eat, how much they eat and their levels of physical activity
  • targeted programs involving government, the food industry, health professionals, schools and the media.

AFGC saw the opportunity to act as a catalyst in getting the survey back on the national agenda. The National Childrens Diet and Physical Activity Survey is the starting point for the development and implementation of targeted strategies, but also to provide a benchmark against which future progress can be measured. The survey also will serve to help guide industry to invest in the development of better-for-you foods.