Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

New guidelines recommend lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating

Revised dietary guidelines were launched in Canberra today by Federal Health Minister, Senator Kay Patterson and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, focussing on the prevention of obesity.

“The guidelines combine current knowledge about the links between diet and disease, the nutrients in Australian food and the role of diet in maximising the quality of life for all Australians.

“Guidelines such as these are important because obesity has become far more prevalent amongst Australians in the past decade. People who are overweight or obese are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

“Being overweight or obese is now one of the most prevalent, chronic childhood health problems in Australia, with around one in five children classified as being obese.

“Children have some special needs which is why specific guidelines were developed for 0-18 year olds. These include recommendations to decrease the age at which children may consume reduced fat dairy products from four years to two years.

“Milks, yoghurts, cheese and alternatives should be included in all diets. However, reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under two, but should be encouraged for older children and adolescents.

“The Infant Feeding Guidelines include an extension of the recommended period for exclusive breastfeeding of infants from 4-6 months to 6 months, where this is possible. Breastfeeding should be supported because of the nutritional and bonding benefits to be gained for both the baby and the mother.

“The revised dietary guidelines are a thorough guide to the foods we should all be eating as a means of ensuring good health by helping to prevent and manage a range of chronic diseases. I hope parents in particular refer to them to give their children a healthy future,” Mr Anthony said.

Copies of the publications Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults and Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents, including Infant Feeding Guidelines for Health Workers are available toll-free by ringing 1800 020 103 or email