Background/Aims: Pork is a core food within the Australian context, however current dietary guidelines recommend limiting the consumption of processed meat, such as processed pork. The aim of this study was to explore pork consumption and its contribution to nutrient intakes in a nationally representative survey of Australians.
Methods: Secondary analysis of dietary data from the 2011-2013 Australian Health Survey was conducted. One day of dietary intake data was analysed for n=12153 individuals aged 2 years and older. Pork and pork-containing mixed dishes were identified and classified as fresh or processed pork.
Results: On the day of the survey, 37.4% (n=4501) of the sample reported consuming pork. A fifth (20.6%) of all pork consumers reported consuming fresh pork; while 85.5% reported consuming processed pork. Processed pork varieties including ham and bacon were the pork items consumed in the greatest amount. Fresh pork contributed substantially to intakes of thiamin, niacin, protein and selenium, whilst processed pork contributed 16% of sodium. A greater proportion of pork consumers met their dietary requirements for protein, long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorous, zinc, iron, iodine and selenium than non-consumers.
Conclusions: Overall, results from this analysis suggest that despite fresh pork contributing to intakes of key nutrients, processed pork remains the predominant variety consumed by Australians. These patterns of pork consumption suggest a deviation from current Australian guidelines which recommend limiting processed meat consumption.
Funding source: Funded by an innovation research grant from Pork CRC.