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CSIRO launches new online scoring system for measuring Australian diet quality

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CSIRO Healthy Diet Score aims to improve Australia’s eating habits

Australians will now be able to measure the quality of their eating habits using a simple scoring system with the CSIRO launching its new Healthy Diet Score online assessment tool.

The CSIRO Healthy Diet Score is a scientifically validated survey that assesses a person’s diet against Australia’s Dietary Guidelines, providing a single dietary quality score on a 100-point scale.

An individual’s score is based on food variety, frequency, quantity of different food groups as well as attributes such as a person’s age and gender. In addition to their overall score, people who complete the online assessment will receive feedback on how they can improve their diet.

The launch of the Healthy Diet Score follows extensive research by the CSIRO and University of South Australia and is capable of providing a similar evaluation to other more complex diet assessment methods such as weekly tracking of food intake which is impractical and time intensive.

The Healthy Diet Score is free and can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

CSIRO’s Research Director for Nutrition and Health and the co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, Professor Manny Noakes, says that often most people overestimate how healthy their food intake is or may not be aware of what amounts of different foods are necessary for good nutrition.

“The online assessment aims to provide guidance on how to improve eating habits and to serve as a reminder that there is always room for improvement when it comes to making healthy food choices.“

“With most methods to assess eating habits being long and time consuming, we developed the Healthy Diet Score to provide an easy quick and reliable measurement for people to better understand the quality of their diet,” said Professor Noakes.

“A nutritious diet means eating a wide range of foods associated with a healthy lifestyle. However too often people will focus on a single food component or nutrient when looking to improve their diet. We know from previous research conducted that on average people are not eating enough vegetables, wholegrains and dairy foods and are eating too much junk food.

“The benefit of the Healthy Diet Score is that it provides individuals with an assessment that is relevant only to them to let them know how their diet quality is measuring up,” said Professor Noakes.

The CSIRO will aim to use the data collected from the Healthy Diet Score to help develop better ways to improve national eating habits and integrate it with other research into nutrition and dietary behaviour.

Key features of the Health Diet Score include:
– An individual assessment of your diet quality
– Personalised feedback on how you can improve your diet quality
– A free report which reveals how your diet quality measures up compared to others of the same age, gender, generation, profession as well as people from the same State and across the country.

Those interested in finding out their Healthy Diet Score can complete the online assessment at: www.csirodietscore.com

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