Food Composition

What is the nutrient composition of foods and non-alcoholic beverages?

A food supply that delivers energy-dense products with high levels of salt, saturated fats and trans fats, in large portion sizes, is a major cause of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The INFORMAS monitoring approach seeks to systematically collect information on high-level contextual factors influencing food composition and assess the energy density, salt, saturated fat, trans fats and portion sizes of highly processed foods for sale in retail outlets (with a focus on supermarkets and quick-service restaurants).

Regular surveys of food composition are proposed across geographies and over time using a pragmatic, standardised methodology.

Bruce NealBruce Neal

Senior Director, Food Policy Division

Chair of the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health
The George Institute for Global Health 
Camperdown, NSW
Email: Professor Bruce Neal


Monitoring the levels of important nutrients in the food supply (pages 49–58) B. Neal, G. Sacks, B. Swinburn, S. Vandevijvere, E. Dunford, W. Snowdon, J. Webster, S. Barquera, S. Friel, C. Hawkes, B. Kelly, S. Kumanyika, M. L’Abbé, A. Lee, T. Lobstein, J. Ma, J. Macmullan, S. Mohan, C. Monteiro, M. Rayner, D. Sanders, C. Walker and INFORMAS

Read the INFORMAS paper online here

A new report FoodSwitch: ‘The State of the Food Supply’ has been released by The George Institute for Global Health. The annual ‘snapshot’ of the state of the Australian packaged food and beverage supply, looks at more than 32,000 products and highlights the changing nutritional composition of key Australian products and food categories.. Further, the report highlights the opportunities for food manufacturers and retailers to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply including:

  • benchmarking the nutrient composition of their portfolios against best-in-category equivalents for levels of energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium – food manufacturers must take responsibility for the healthiness of all the foods they are making and marketing.
  • take a more active role in improving the healthiness of the Australian food supply.  Retailers could set minimum requirements for the healthiness of the foods they stock and promote in-store and could provide Health Star Rating shelf labelling for all products – as the gatekeepers to Australian food purchases, retailers have the opportunity to help every Australian buy healthier.

The goal of this report is to support government, business and community efforts to help Australians eat better diets. 

Media release for launch of The State of the Food Supply – Australia

“Foodswitch: State of the Food Supply 2019” report.

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