Food, Health and Nutrition: Where Does Chicken Fit?
Our consumer research suggests that most people are well aware that chicken is a very lean (low in fat) meat. In fact, many would regard chicken breast as the benchmark for lean meat. What is less well known is that chicken also is packed with a broad range of vitamins and minerals which makes chicken an ideal nutritional package. Combined with the consistency, affordability, versatility and ease of preparation, chicken is the ideal meat for today's consumers.
Major Report on Chicken in the Australian Context
The Australian Chicken Meat Federation commissioned a major review of chicken in the Australian diet in early 2008. This work built on a research project on nutrient composition of chicken undertaken by the same group of researchers at the National Centre for Excellence in Functional Food at the University of Wollongong and funded through the Rural Industries R&D Corporation's Chicken Meat Program.
The authors are Dr Karen E. Charlton, Dr Yasmine C. Probst and Professor Linda Tapsell from the Smart Foods Centre, University of Wollongong; and Dr Patrick J. Blackall from the Animal Research Institute, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (Queensland). To learn more about the authors, click on the respective photo. To read about the Smart Foods Centre, click here.
Dr Charlton Dr Probst Prof. Tapsell Dr Blackall
The report (which includes a foreword by Dr Peter Clifton from CSIRO) was published as a supplement in the Australian Family Physician on 2 May 2008 and will also be distributed widely to health care professionals, in particular nutritionists and dieticians. It contains the most up-to-date information on chicken meat, its nutritional value and how it fits in the typical Australian diet. To listen to an interview on the place of chicken in our diet with Dr Peter Clifton, go to our Podcasts.
The paper also looks at the sustainability of the industry and the environmental impact that chicken meat production has. It is pleasing to see that chicken and eggs have the least impact on the environment of all the land based animal protein sources. For more details on this aspect, go to Environmental Issues.
The published report "Food, Health and Nutrition: Where Does Chicken Fit?" can be downloaded as a (size: 230kB) by clicking here.
This report is also available as a printed brochure by sending a request to ACMF, via email or by contacting us on 02-9929 4077. This report was included in the May edition of the Australian Family Physician and will be distributed to all members of the Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA).
A more comprehensive version - with more detailed appendices - is also available for download as a (large file; 300kB): click here to download.
From the Foreword by Dr Peter Clifton to the Report "Food, Health and Nutrition: Where Does Chicken Fit?":
The Australian population suffers from a range of diet related diseases, particularly obesity
and type 2 diabetes, which GPs and health care professionals need to help address.
High protein diets may play a significant role in helping overweight and obese subjects
lose weight and maintain weight loss. Chicken is a key component of today’s diet, with
about 33 per cent of Australians who eat chicken doing so at least three times a week,
and can contribute significantly to a high protein diet. Lean chicken can also contribute
to a healthy eating pattern even if weight loss is not required.
Chicken can be very low in fat and provides essential vitamins and minerals, particularly
niacin, vitamin A and vitamin E and magnesium, which should encourage GPs to
recommend it to patients in their practices when reviewing and discussing an overall
This report aims to broaden the understanding of where chicken fits, nutritionally, in the
Australian diet and what that means to the health of Australians. Chicken is generally
recognised as a low fat protein source. The fact that it also provides a range of other
valuable nutrients is less well known and this report fills this information gap.
Dr Peter Clifton
Theme Leader Obesity and Health
CSIRO Preventative Health Flagship
Affiliate Professor Department of Medicine and Department of Biomedical Science
Listen to a Podcast by Dr Peter Clifton, co-author of The Total Wellbeing Diet Book, with CSIRO colleague Dr Manny Noakes. In this recording, Peter states in a clear and simple form why chicken has an important role to play in the Australian diet. More detailed information about Dr Peter Clifton are available here.
Note: If the audio file does not play, please ensure your system does not have “pop-up blocking enabled” in the Norton Add-On Pack or similar software. Once any pop-up blocking is disabled, reload/refresh the page and click on the loudspeaker symbol again.
Click on the loudspeaker symbol to listen to the interview (1.29 minutes; large file: 1.3 MB)
To access an older publication entitled "Nutrient Composition of Australian Chicken" and authored by Ann Hunt, Janine Lewis, Greg Milligan and Catherine Deeps, Australia New Zealand Food Authority, ACT and presented by Ann Hunt at The Eleventh Australian Poultry & Feed Convention, October 1999, click here.