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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 149

Senator TOWNLEY asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   How long is it since the Department of Health carried out a survey into the nutritional needs of Australians.

(2)   Has the Department ever investigated whether people on low incomes are financially capable of buying the food they need, from a health point of view, or are many suffering from malnutrition.

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1)   The Department of Health conducted a Commonwealth-wide food consumption survey in 1944.

No large dietary surveys have since been conducted but 3 smaller studies investigating the diets of nurses, young vegetarians, and pregnant and lactating women were undertaken between 1960 and 1963.

(2)   No. I would regard the carrying out of surveys of this nature as being principally the responsibility of individual State Authorities. The activities of the Nutrition section of the Department of Health are currently related to certain nutritional problems in Aborigines. I understand that similar surveys are being carried out in some States.

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