Rural Australians experience a higher burden of diet-related chronic disease than their
metropolitan counterparts. Dietary intake data is needed to understand priorities for nutrition
initiatives that reduce disparities in the health of rural Australians. A systematic literature review
aimed to synthesize the evidence on dietary intakes in adult populations residing in rural and
remote Australia, to identify areas for intervention, and make recommendations for future research.
A comprehensive search of five electronic databases was conducted and 22 articles were identified
for inclusion. Half of the included studies (50%) collected dietary data using non-validated
questionnaires and nearly half (41%) did not benchmark dietary intakes against public health
guidelines. Most studies (95%) showed that rural populations have suboptimal dietary intakes.
Despite the high level of preventable diet-related disease in rural and remote Australia, this review
identified that there is insufficient high-quality dietary data available and a lack of consistency between
dietary outcomes collected in research to inform priority areas for intervention. Further cross-sectional
or longitudinal data should be collected across all remoteness areas, using robust, validated
dietary assessment tools to adequately inform nutrition priorities and policies that reduce rural