Deakin University

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The New Zealand food supply and diet - trends 1961-95 and comparison with other OECD countries

journal contribution
posted on 2000-07-28, 00:00 authored by M Laugesen, Boyd SwinburnBoyd Swinburn
AIMS: To compare the New Zealand food supply and trends from 1961 to 1995 with other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, with an emphasis on foods linked with coronary heart disease (CHD). METHOD: Food and Agricultural Organization per capita food supply statistics for 24 OECD countries were converted to nutritional supply values and adjusted for edible portion. RESULTS: In 1995, New Zealand had the highest supply per capita of butter and meat fats among OECD countries, ranking its food supply highest for thrombogenicity and third for atherogenicity. Seafood and alcohol supply were average and vitamin E supply was high compared with other OECD countries. Beneficial trends have occurred with increases in fruit consumption, vegetable consumption and fibre intake between 1961 and 1995. While total fat intake has not changed appreciably, the fatty acid profile has shifted and is now less likely to promote CHD. CONCLUSIONS: The New Zealand diet's tendency to promote CHD has decreased, particularly since 1985. The diet's fatty acid profile, however, remains highly atherogenic and thrombogenic, predisposing to CHD, and the fat content of the food supply remains high, predisposing to obesity. Continued efforts are needed to improve the diet of New Zealanders and to maintain food supply data collection for long term monitoring of these changes.



New Zealand medical journal






311 - 315


New Zealand Medical Association


Wellington, N.Z.





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2000, New Zealand Medical Association