ASMI says dietary supplements an option for children when intake of nutrients inadequate

06 March 2014

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6 March 2014  - The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) today said that dietary supplementation is an option for children when their diet contains insufficient nutrients.
ASMI Executive Director, Dr Deon Schoombie, said that a body of Australian data reveals a shortfall in fruit, vegetable and fish intake by Australian children.
"The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that only between four and six per cent of children aged between five and seventeen years consumed the recommended serves of vegetables each day.1 In a national survey, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that children's intake of fruits and vegetables did not meet recommended intake levels.2

"The journal Nutrition reported the results of a survey of Australian children and found that, on average, they eat just 20 per cent of the recommended quantity of Omega3 fatty acids.3 Finally, a national study funded by state Cancer Councils, the Cancer Council of Australia and the National Heart Foundation found that only 14 per cent of secondary school students met the dietary recommendations for fruit and vegetables. 4
"Dietary vitamin and mineral supplements do not replace a balanced diet, but they do have a legitimate role when the diet is inadequate.

"Consumers are encouraged to talk to a qualified healthcare professional who can provide advice on nutritional needs for children," said Dr Schoombie.

About ASMI: The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak body representing sponsors of non-prescription medicines - over-the-counter (OTC) and complementary medicines. Its members make up 85 per cent of the $4bn self care market. Membership totals 60 companies and ASMI members employ approximately 17,000 people with exports estimated at $600 million annually. ASMI's mission is to promote better health through responsible self care. This means ensuring that safe and effective self care products are readily available to all Australians at a reasonable cost. ASMI works to encourage responsible use by consumers and an increasing role for cost-effective self-medication products as part of the broad national health strategy.

For more information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Marie Kelly-Davies
PR Manager, Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI)
M: 0408 256 381 E:

1.Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009. 2007-08 National Health Survey: Summary of Results.
2.Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2010. Australia's Health 2010. Australia's health series no. 12. Cat. no. AUS 122. Canberra: AIHW
3. Meyer BJ, Kolanu N. Australian children are not consuming enough long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for optimal health. Nutrition. 2011 Nov-Dec;27(11-12):1136-40.
4. National Secondary Students' 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. Published in 2011.