The average Australian diet does provide the majority of nutrient intake necessary in relation to the Recommended Dietary Intakes. However the average Australian diet does not provide the balance of nutrients that will result in optimum health. This imbalance of nutrients is affecting many individuals’ health leading to increases in obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Mean total energy intake (kJ), 1995 Age group (years) 12-15 16-18 19-24 25-44 45-64 Males 11 590 13 530 13 250 11 730 10 300 Females 8 530 8 690 8 370 7 880 7 220 As a society and community, individuals alike need to recognise that personal actions, the environment, community action, health services and policies can all work together to improve health for individuals and our nation as a whole. The 5 Ottawa Charter actions can be implemented to improve nutritional status: Developing personal skills By enabling people to gain the knowledge and skills through education and information, people will understand why nutrition is important to health, guide individuals to maintain a balanced, nutritional diet, and also help overcome problems. These personal skills include planning and making decisions for healthy eating, interpreting food labels, and restricting consumption of unhealthy food. Learning throughout life needs to be facilitated in the school, home, work and community settings. Creating supportive environments Home, work, school and recreational environments have a significant influence on whether we have a healthy diet. Our health services, workplaces, schools, family and friends need to provide support by encouraging individuals to healthy eating in order to improve diets. Health services, workplaces, schools, family and friends encourage people by providing access to healthy food and supporting healthy eating. Strengthening community action Communities need to set priorities and make decisions to identify the problems, and wo…
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