What we’re doing about food and nutrition

Poor diet is responsible for 7% of Australia’s disease burden. Read about our food and nutrition policies, the laws that keep food safe, and the initiatives, programs and resources that help Australians make healthy food choices.

We develop policy, resources and initiatives to help Australians eat a nutritious and healthy diet.

Policy work

Our National Preventive Health Strategy will help improve the health of Australians over the next 10 years, including through a healthier diet.

We have developed the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which help Australians make healthy food choices.

Legislation

The national Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 aims to:

  • protect public health and safety
  • help Australians make informed choices about the food they eat
  • prevent fraud and misleading conduct by food companies.

Imported food must meet strict requirements under the Biosecurity Act 2015 and Imported Food Control Act 1992 to ensure it is safe.

Each state and territory has its own legislation relating to food safety.

See other national legislation we administer.

Regulation and compliance

Food companies must adhere to the Food Standards Code when manufacturing, preparing, handling, storing and serving food and drinks.  

All levels of government work together to protect people’s health and safety under the joint Australian and New Zealand food regulation system:

Read more about our joint food regulation system with New Zealand to keep our food supply safe.

Initiatives and programs

We fund several initiatives and programs to help Australians make healthy food choices:

  • The voluntary Health Star Rating system rates the nutritional value of packaged foods from half a star to 5 stars. This enables us to quickly compare similar foods – the more stars, the healthier the food.
  • Through the Healthy Food Partnership, we work with the food industry and the public health sector to make healthier food choices easier and more accessible.
  • The Healthy Food Partnership Reformulation Program aims to reduce the amount of sugar, sodium and saturated fat in processed and manufactured foods.
  • Eat for Health contains the Australian Dietary Guidelines, tips and advice on eating healthy, and resources to help people make healthy food choices.
  • Nutrient Reference Values recommends the level of nutrients we need to be healthy, based on scientific evidence.

We advertise any grants on GrantConnect when required.

Research

National research gives us an insight into the eating habits of Australians and how they might affect health and wellbeing. This helps us develop food and nutrition policies and programs that are relevant and effective. National research includes the:

Who we work with

To support healthy eating among all Australians, we work with:

Read more about food standards and safety.

Resources

We provide Australians with many resources to help them make healthy food choices, including: 

Last updated: 
30 June 2022

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