You are here

2. Civilian Diet Before World War 2

Document

Civilian Diet Before World War 2 - Animal Fat Level

In relation to the civilian diet before World War 2, the results were reviewed of the survey of the diet of the Australian people, conducted in 1936-38 by the National Advisory Council on Nutrition. These results provide a reference for the fat content of the national diet before World War 2 with which to compare applicants' claims for pre-service diets and to estimate animal fat content by extrapolation from information available on national food production of meats, milk and butter in 1938-39. The report of the 1936-38 Survey of Domestic Food Budgets is included in the Final Report of the National Advisory Council on Nutrition, published in 1938 by the Government Printer, Canberra. This survey of food consumption and expenditure was conducted on 1,739 families, living in the capital cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. In the analysis of data, there was no correction for wastage, either at kitchen or table level.

It was estimated that 1172 food items were included in the domestic food budgets, with 112 varieties of fresh meat and 78 varieties of prepared meats or sausages. The results of the pre-war survey were reported on the basis of nutrient intake per adult male unit for each capital city. The results by capital city for fat intake per adult male unit and the extrapolated levels of animal fat are given below.

City Fat intake
(g/day)
Animal fat intake
(g/day)*
1936-38 Fat intake per adult male by capital city
Brisbane 146 128
Sydney 145 127
Melbourne 149 130
Adelaide 130 114
Perth 138 121

*Data extrapolated

 

Proposition

The total fat level of the civilian diet before World War 2 for an adult male was high (range 130-149g/head/day). Due to the limited availability and so consumption of non-animal sources of fat, the level of animal fat was estimated also to be of a high level (range 114-130g/head/day). The evidence for the above proposition is based on the results of a national household dietary survey, conducted in 1936-38 under the auspices of the National Advisory Council on Nutrition.