How do women's diets compare with the new Australian dietary guidelines?

Gita D. Mishra, Danielle A. J. M. Schoenaker, Seema Mihrshahi, Annette J. Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare women's diets with recommended intakes from the new Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG 2013).

Design: Cross-sectional study using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Diet was assessed using a validated FFQ.

Setting: Two nationally representative age cohorts of Australian women.

Subjects: Women in the young cohort (born 1973–1978, aged 31–36 years) and mid-age cohort (born 1946–1951, aged 50–55 years). Women (n 18 226) were categorised into three groups: ‘young women’ (n 5760), young ‘pregnant women’ at the time or who had given birth in the 12 months prior to the survey (n 1999) and ‘mid-age women’ (n 10 467).

Results: Less than 2 % of women in all three groups attained the ADG 2013 recommendation of five daily servings of vegetables, with the majority needing more than two additional servings. For young women, less than one-third met recommendations for fruit (32%) and meat and alternatives (28 %), while only a small minority did so for dairy (12 %) and cereals (7 %). Fifty per cent of pregnant women met guidelines for fruit, but low percentages reached guidelines for dairy (22 %), meat and alternatives (10 %) and cereals (2·5 %). For mid-age women, adherence was higher for meat and alternatives (41 %) and cereals (45 %), whereas only 1 % had the suggested dairy intake of four daily servings.

Conclusions: For most women to follow ADG 2013 recommendations would require substantially increased consumption of cereals, vegetables and dairy. Findings have implications for tailoring the dissemination of dietary guidelines for women in different age groups and for pregnant women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-225
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Adherence
  • Dietary guidelines


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