The Australian Academy of Science has had a look at the typical Australian diet.

The experts address some major questions in Nourishing Australia: a decadal plan for the science of nutrition, including; what does the typical Australian diet look like? How can it be improved? And how can consumers make sense of unreliable and conflicting nutrition advice?

Chair of the Academy’s National Committee for Nutrition, Professor Mike Gidley from the University of Queensland, said Australia does not currently have large-scale longitudinal data on food intake, nutrition status and relationships with societal determinants and health outcomes for its population.

“National nutrition surveys are infrequent and irregular, resulting in a lack of current information on the relationship between food intake and health outcomes for Australians,” Professor Gidley said.

“There is an urgent need to utilise new tools and digital technologies to assess the national diet on a population-wide scale,” Professor Gidley said.

“Bringing nutrition data together from a range of new data sources, such as citizen science, national surveys, prospective cohort studies, clinical trials and more, has the potential to provide much richer datasets and will give us a clearer picture of how diet relates to health outcomes over time.

“Indeed, without a strengthened contribution from the social, economic and environmental disciplines to the science of nutrition, traditional approaches will not deliver their potential benefits in translating all this new knowledge into improvements in our health.”

Professor Stephen Simpson from the University of Sydney, said Australia enjoys a global reputation for its nutrition science, one of many disciplines where we punch above our weight.

“In combination with established strengths in our agrifood industry, medical technology, social sciences and higher education sectors, Australia is entering an era of opportunity to be a regional and global leader in broadening the science of nutrition and linking it to health, social, and economic outcomes for the benefit of all Australians,” said Professor Simpson.

“Nourishing Australia outlines steps that need to be taken over the next ten years to secure our future.”