About the guide
The Industry Guide to Voluntary Serving Size Reduction helps food companies to set appropriate serving sizes for food and beverages. The guide outlines voluntary maximum serving size recommendations for 11 discretionary food and beverage categories.
Industry Guide to Voluntary Serving Size Reduction
The guide considers the settings in which foods are sold and recommends different serving sizes across retail and out-of-home settings.
The Industry Best Practice Guide Working Group consulted food companies and public health groups to develop the serving size recommendations and category definitions.
To learn more about this consultation, see the:
The guide builds on current and previous work by the food industry in Australia. It was informed by:
- existing industry serving size recommendations
- international guidance
- available serving sizes in retail and out-of-home settings.
The maximum serving size recommendations outlined in the guide are not necessarily the best or healthiest choice for each individual. Providing a range of smaller serving sizes is recommended to meet customers’ diverse appetites and energy requirements.
For more information on the foods included in the guide, see Category definitions, inclusions and exclusions.
Why the guide was developed
The food environment can influence our ability to make healthy food choices.
In Australia, the serving sizes (amount offered) of many discretionary foods and beverages has increased over recent decades. As a result, portion sizes (amount consumed) of discretionary foods have increased. This can lead to poor eating patterns.
Poor eating patterns are a leading contributor to disease burden in Australia.
Poor eating patterns can lead to:
- excess intake of energy, sodium (salt), saturated fat and added sugars
- inadequate intake of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains.
Together these can increase the risk of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases.
The recommended serving sizes in the guide aim to improve the food environment by decreasing energy and risk-associated nutrients in priority food categories.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines include recommendations about:
- achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
- intake of foods from the five food groups
- limiting foods containing saturated fat, added sugar, sodium and alcohol (known as discretionary foods).
The guide will support Australians to adopt the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines by reducing serving sizes and portion sizes of discretionary food and beverages.
The overarching goals of the Guide are to:
- help reduce diet-related diseases, including chronic conditions
- help reduce overweight and obesity
- improve the health of Australians.
- lower the cost of health care to the economy.
Who we work with
The success of the guide relies on support and widespread uptake from the food industry to adopt the serving size guidance. We welcome and value industry’s contribution in implementing the guide.
The guide is complementary to the Partnership Reformulation Program. Recognising that not all foods are suitable for reformulation, reducing serving size is another way to support Australians to reduce intakes of risk nutrients.