Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting

Diets and Health Stars – what are Australian adults using for weight loss and/or health improvement in 2015? (#251)

Anita S Lawrence 1 , Heather A Jones 1
  1. Dairy Australia, Southbank, VIC, Australia


In the 2011-12 Australian Health Survey, 63% of adults were overweight or obese (70% men versus 56% women) yet only 13% of respondents aged 15 years and over were currently on a diet to lose weight or for some other health reason.  The aim of this study was to obtain more recent information about dietary strategies being adopted by a representative sample of Australian adults in 2015.


On-line survey of adults (n=1,707; 847 males) conducted during March 2015.  Weightings ensured gender and age representativeness. 


Fifty-two percent of respondents reported having followed a diet to lose weight or improve health over the past year and 19% reported using Health Star Ratings when selecting products to buy.  For both behaviours, more women took action than men (58% of those following diets were women versus 42%; P<0.05 and 53% of Health Star Ratings users versus 47%, respectively P<0.1).  The most popular diets were: low fat (used by 15% of respondents), low carbohydrate, high protein (14%), no sugar (9%), 2 and 5 diet (6%), gluten-free (4%), ‘Lite n’Easy’ (3%), ‘Weight Watchers’ (3%), paleo (3%), lactose-free (2%), ‘Michelle Bridges’ (2%), FODMAP (2%) and other (12%). 


The majority of Australian adults have attempted to improve their diet, many using techniques that are not consistent with the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines.  Despite being more likely to be overweight or obese, Australian men are less likely than women to alter their diet for weight loss or health improvement.  This suggests that more effort should be focused on assisting men to improve their diet. 

Funding source: Dairy Australia