In a national first collaboration between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the Australian Health Survey (AHS) has discovered deficiencies in some essential nutrients, including calcium.

Calcium is an integral dietary need contributing to the development of strong and healthy bones. In Australia, only one in four females and one in two males meet their calcium requirements, with deficiencies beginning in children as young as four.  The AHS also revealed over 23 per cent of Australian women are either anaemic or lacking in iron.

The study showed Australians consume too much salt. Over 95 per cent of children between two and eight exceed their upper level of sodium intake and three in four males over the age of two consume too much sodium.

The AHS, the most comprehensive health survey ever conducted in Australia, is considered an important tool in helping determining future health patterns of the nation and the allocation of government funding.

There was some good news in the survey. Over 95 per cent of the population showed normal levels of protein, vitamin C and B12, phosphorous and selenium, all of which, are extremely important to a healthy and balanced diet.