2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey - Key Findings

This fact sheet presents a summary of the results in the 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey Main Findings.

Page last updated: 2007

    PDF printable version of 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey - Key Findings (PDF 594 KB)

    Overview

    This fact sheet examines the key results of the 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (Children’s Survey) presented in the Main Findings report.

    The objectives of the Children’s Survey were to assess the reported food and nutrient intake; physical activity levels; and the weight, height and waist circumference of a sample of children aged 2–16 years randomly selected from across Australia. A total of 4,487 children (50 per cent boys and 50 per cent girls) took part, divided into the following age groups: 2–3 years, 4–8 years, 9–13 years and 14–16 years.

    Key Findings

  • 72 per cent of children surveyed were at a healthy weight; 17 per cent of boys and girls were classified as overweight; 6 per cent were obese; and 5 per cent were found to be underweight.
  • The children surveyed demonstrated a low level of observance of the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia, which contains the recommended intake of foods from each of the five main food groups (fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and meat alternatives and cereals).
  • On the days surveyed, 69 per cent of the children met the National Physical Activity Guidelines (at least one hour of moderate to vigorous activity each day).

    Nutrition

    Fruit:
  • The proportion of children meeting the guidelines for fruit intake (1–3 serves per day depending on age group and gender) declined with age.
  • 61 per cent of 4–8 year olds consumed adequate fruit (excluding juice), compared to only 1 per cent of 14–16 year old boys and girls.
    Vegetables:
  • The proportion of children meeting the guidelines for vegetable intake (2–4 serves per day depending on age group and gender) decreased with age.
  • 22 per cent of 4–8 year old children and 5 per cent of 14–16 year olds met the dietary guidelines for vegetable intake.
    Fat and Saturated Fat:
  • The average total fat intake of children from each of the age groups was approximately 30 per cent of total energy intake, which meets the recommendations for total fat intake.
  • The survey found that saturated fat intake contributed approximately 13–14 per cent of the children’s energy intake. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that saturated fat should contribute less than 10 per cent total energy intake.
    Sugar:
  • In the children surveyed, sugar contributed to between 23–24 per cent of total energy intake. The Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet moderate in sugar (energy from sugar should not contribute more than 20 per cent of overall energy intake).
  • The proportion of all children who met the recommendations for a diet moderate in sugar increased with age (29 per cent of those aged 4-8 years compared with 39 per cent of 14–16 year olds).
    Micronutrients:
  • Results indicate that some micronutrient intakes such as calcium, sodium and magnesium are likely to be problematic, particularly for the 14–16 year olds who were the least likely to meet the recommended intake.
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    Physical Activity

    Moderate to vigorous physical activity:
  • Approximately 69 per cent of boys and girls aged 9–16 surveyed accumulated at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on most of the days surveyed.
  • On average, boys aged 9–16 years reported 142 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day, while girls aged 9–16 years averaged 112 minutes of MVPA per day.
  • The average time spent doing moderate to vigorous physical activity decreased with age.
    Pedometer steps:
  • On average, 55 per cent of boys and 66 per cent of girls aged 5–8 years old met the recommended number of steps on the days reported.
  • The proportion of children meeting the recommendations decreased with age, with only 26 per cent of 14–16 year old boys and girls meeting the recommendation.
  • The current guidelines developed by the President’s Council on Fitness and Sport recommend 13,000 steps for boys and 11,000 steps for girls each day.
    Screen time:
  • Participation in screen-based activities peaked in children aged 13–14 years, where screen time varied from 3.5 hours in girls to over 4 hours in boys.
  • Screen time primarily consisted of television viewing (approximately 2.5 hours for both boys and girls).
  • 33 per cent of the children aged 9–16 years met the recommendations for screen time in the National Physical Activity Guidelines (no more than two hours of non-educational screen time each day).
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