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Page updated: 17 June 2011

The Physical Activity Taskforce has ceased operation and this website is no longer updated.

Updated: 17 June 2011

National Secondary School Diet and Activity Survey (NaSSDA)

National Secondary School Diet and Activity Survey (NaSSDA)

The National Secondary Student's Diet and Activity (NaSSDA) survey 2009-10 is jointly funded by the state Cancer Councils, Cancer Council Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia.

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National Secondary School Diet and Activity Survey (NaSSDA)

The study fills a significant gap in existing data in Australia by establishing an ongoing commitment to the standardised monitoring of adolescents' body weight, and dietary and physical activity behaviour at both a state and national level.

The study reveals excessive levels of overweight and obesity among students, inadequate rates of physical activity, insufficient fruit and vegetable intake and a high proportion of students making food choices based on advertising. The participation of 12,000 students in years eight to 11 across 237 schools provides the first truly national survey sample of young Australians since 1985.

Comparison between the NaSSDA and CAPANS (2008) Findings

The research memos addressing physical activity, body size, healthy eating and small screen recreation have been compared to the corresponding results from the Western Australian 2008 Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (CAPANS) commissioned by the Taskforce.

Key points:

  • The two surveys are only somewhat comparable due to differences in sample (eg. year 9 not included in CAPANS) and administration (web vs. face to face).
  • Overall, it would appear that Western Australian adolescents are more likely to meet the national physical activity guidelines than adolescents nationwide.
  • Western Australian adolescents are slightly more likely to be of healthy weight and less likely to be overweight or obese.
  • Although the measures aren't strictly comparable (average weekday/weekend vs past 7 days), it would appear Western Australian adolescents are on par with the national average with regard to meeting the national electronic media guidelines.
  • Vegetable consumption is equivalent between WA adolescents and the national result, however fruit consumption would appear to be lower amongst WA adolescents.
  • WA adolescents are less likely to regularly consume meals or snacks from fast food or takeaway outlets.


Contact Details

For further details and more in-depth information regarding the above comparison, please contact contact Jo Evans, Research Officer, Physical Activity Taskforce Secretariat.

Ms Joanne Evans, Research Officer
T: 08 9492 9634

Year published: 2011

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