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Discretionary intake among Australian adults: prevalence of intake, top food groups, time of consumption and its association with sociodemographic, lifestyle and adiposity measures

  • Flavia Fayet-Moore (a1), Andrew McConnell (a1), Tim Cassettari (a1), Kate Tuck (a1), Peter Petocz (a2) and Jean Kim (a3)...



To profile discretionary food and beverage (DF) consumption among Australian adults.


Cross-sectional analysis. Dietary and sociodemographic data were used to profile DF intake. Prevalence of DF consumption, DF servings (1 serving=600 kJ), nutrient contribution from DF and top DF food groups by self-reported eating occasions were determined. DF consumers (>0 g) were classified according to quartile of DF intake and general linear models adjusted for age and sex were used to determine associations.


2011–12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS).


Adults aged ≥19 years (n 9341) who participated in the NNPAS 2011–12.


Most adults consumed DF (98 %) and over 60 % exceeded 3 DF servings/d, with a mean of 5·0 (se 0·0) DF servings/d. Cakes, muffins, scones, cake-type desserts contributed the most DF energy (8·4 %) of all food groups, followed by wines (8·1 %), pastries (8·0 %) and beers (6·1 %), with all these food groups consumed in large portions (2·3–3·0 DF servings). Lunch and dinner together contributed 45 % of total DF energy intake. High DF consumers had an average of 10 DF servings, and this group contained more younger adults, males, low socio-economic status, lower usual fruit intake and higher mean waist circumference, but not higher BMI.


A focus on DF consumed in large portions at lunch and dinner may help improve interventions aimed at reducing DF intake and addressing negative adiposity-related measures found in high DF consumers.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email


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