Improved health outcomes

Dairy is part of a healthy lifestyle but many Australian fail to meet recommendations of the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Children not eating enough dairy

The food environment has become increasingly competitive over the past 12 months due to new food trends and fads, including proliferation and promotion of dairy free diets and milk alternatives.

These alternatives not only create confusion in consumers’ minds, but make it more difficult to share positive messages regarding the health benefits of dairy.

Dairy foods – milk, cheese and yoghurt – are recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Australian Dietary Guidelines as being part of a healthy diet.

Other studies support this recommendation by indicating adequate dairy food consumption is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and related chronic diseases.

Dairy foods contain a package of essential nutrients including calcium for strong bones, protein for growth and development, riboflavin for eyesight and iodine for brain function.

However, many Australians fail to meet the dairy intake recommendations of the Australian Dietary Guidelines. According to the 2011–13 Australian Health Survey (AHS), which incorporated the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS), nearly three quarters of females (73%) and half of all males (51%) aged two years and over did not meet their calcium requirements.

To address this, programs such as Legendairy promote the health benefits of dairy.

Dairy Australia has invested in a consumer campaign targeting Mums of kids aged 5 to 12 years as the key grocery buyer. This campaign, known as ‘Balanced Mums’, aimed to drive positive changes in consumer attitudes to dairy foods.

The annual Dairy Monitor Survey (DM 2015) showed that almost all key dairy attitudes of mums of kids 5-12 had positive shifts. Balanced Mums’ perception that dairy is essential for good health and wellbeing and trust in the dairy industry improved. Concerns that consuming dairy could increase weight reduced.

However, DM 2015 showed fewer mums were targeting or claiming to consume three serves of dairy each day for themselves or their kids, and this highlights the ongoing work that is required to achieve consumption of three serves of dairy each day.

Sustainable Development Goals

The dairy industry’s capacity to contribute to nutrition and a healthy global population is also linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly #2 and #3:

 

2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.

2.2 By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.

3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.