Metabolisable energy from nuts and patterns of nut consumption in the Australian population: a secondary analysis of the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey

Year Published: 2024


J Hum Nutr Diet


Cassandra J Nikodijevic 1 , Yasmine C Probst 1 , Sze-Yen Tan 2 , Elizabeth P Neale 1


Background: Nut intake is not associated with increased body weight, which may be explained by their metabolisable energy, among other factors. Therefore, total energy intake may be overestimated among nut consumers. This study aimed to describe the metabolisable energy from nuts and nut consumption patterns in the Australian population. Methods: A nut-specific database was expanded to include metabolisable energy of nuts (based on nut type and form) and applied to the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS). Participants were Australians aged 2 years and older from the 2011-12 NNPAS (n = 12,153, with n = 4,765 nut consumers). Mean metabolisable energy intake was compared with mean energy intake using Atwater factors in nut consumers. Additionally, nut consumption patterns were explored, including the proportion of nuts consumed at meals and snacks.

Key Findings

Key Findings: Results: Among nut consumers, mean metabolisable energy from nuts based only on nut type was 241.2 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 232.0, 250.5) kJ/day and mean metabolisable energy considering both nut type and form was 260.7 (95% CI: 250.2, 271.2) kJ/day. Energy intake from nuts using Atwater factors was 317.6 (95% CI: 304.8, 330.3) kJ/day. Nuts were more likely to be consumed at snack occasions, with approximately 63% of nut intake occurring as a snack. Conclusion: Application of metabolisable energy to the 2011-12 NNPAS has a significant impact on calculation of energy intake from nuts. Nut consumption patterns identified a majority of nut consumption occurring as snacks. These findings may inform strategies to support nut consumption in Australia.