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Australian Dietary Guidelines submission

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Online comments
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General comments

Relating to the Guide to Healthy Eating:

1. What is the significance of the rotation of the plate to put meat and dairy on top? This used to be where veg and fruit was placed. This is the area that draws the eye and assumes greatest significance for being placed 'on top'. There is no reasonable explanation for this movement (ie fruit and veg are the food groups that we are attempting to increase the nations intake of so why shouldn't they be on top?), therefore the assumption might be made that the dairy and livestock industries were behind this push and this reduces the credibility of the model.

2. Not all of the images on the plate are clear. In the old model "lentils" were packaged with a label outlining what they were. My experience tells me that few 'lay people' would readily recognise these foods (eg polenta and quinoa) without a label.

3. There seems to be a large number of images of breads/rolls in the B&Cs group and most of these appear to be white breads- is this not what we are trying to combat? To increase wholegrains and variety rather than so many serves of bread per day?

4. Lack of breakfast cereals depicted in B&Cs group- eg weetbix- a common breakfast cereal.

5. The fruit group does not depict dried fruit at all.

6. Great to see the presence of alcohol in the 'extras' group.

7. There is no indication of what a serve size of 'extra' foods is- this is a major teaching tool for people to understand portion size and excess.

8. Interesting to note that the fruit serves during pregnancy and lactation are not increased.

9. Great how simple to the tables are to read in comparison with the old version which had a two-tiered approach (higher CHO or higher protein).

10. Need to indicate a cup-sized measure for starchy veg (eg 1/2 cup) as this has been indicated for all other veg serves and isn't immediately clear.

11. Like inclusion of flour in B&C serves. Also great to see that the recommended number of serves is reduced as I believe that this contributed to excess total energy intake recommendations in last AGTHE.

12. Interesting to note that meat serves don't increase for 14-18 year old girls given increased iron requirements in relation to males.


Australian Dietary Guidelines

13. Guideline 2a: 'low fat diets are not suitable for infants'. This statement is attached to the recommendation to decrease intake of high sat and trans fats and may be misinterpreted as seen to be encouraging infants needs for 'extra foods'-- in my opinion there is a difference between a 'low total fat diet' and a 'low saturated fat diet'. I would encourage the recommendations to guide the TYPE of fats in both infant and adult diets.

14.Guideline 2d. I would suggest indicating a specific upper limit for alcohol in line with evidence not only related to nutrition and energy intake but supporting risk reduction etc.

Page reviewed: 3 January, 2013