Cancer Council Australia

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National Secondary Students' Diet and Physical Activity survey



The National Secondary Students' Diet and Physical Activity survey is a research project conducted triennially by Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation aimed at filling the significant gap in data on obesity, diet and physical activity in secondary school students at both a state and national level in Australia.

Results of the latest survey, released in February 2011, revealed an excessive prevalence of overweight and obesity among students (highest in low SES areas), inadequate rates of physical activity, insufficient fruit and vegetable intake and a high proportion of students making food choices based on advertising.

Participation of 12,000 students in years eight to 11 across 237 schools provided the first truly national sample for a physical activity survey of young Australians since 1985.

Key findings:

  • Nearly one in four students is overweight or obese, with a significantly higher rate in low SES areas.
  • Eighty-five per cent of students don’t engage in sufficient activity to provide a health benefit.
  • Low fruit and vegetable intake, with 76% not meeting the daily recommended intake of four vegetable servings daily and 59% not meeting the daily recommended intake of three servings of fruit daily.
  • Almost one third drink four or more cups of soft drink, cordial or sports drink a week
  • More than half (55%) tried a new food or drink product in the past month they had seen advertised.

The National Secondary Students' Diet and Physical Activity survey 2009/10 memos:


This page was last updated on: Wednesday, April 15, 2015