Tackle chronic disease by eating more fibre

The importance of fibre in our diet has been highlighted in a new report which shows that increasing our grain fibre intake could reduce the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease within Australia by 400,000 people each year, saving the economy almost $3.3billion in healthcare and lost productivity costs.

Federal Assistant Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie, said that four out of five Australians are not getting enough fibre and a lack of fibre puts people at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Modelling conducted by Deloitte Access Economics estimates even a small national increase of just one serve of high fibre grain food per day, could potentially prevent an estimated 64,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and 126,000 cases of type 2 diabetes annually, saving $1.5 billion in associated healthcare costs and lost productivity every year.

“These are Australia’s two most prevalent chronic diseases, and have a significant impact on Australia’s economy in direct healthcare expenditure and lost productivity,” Dr Gillespie said.

“The research indicates that fibre from grains has the greatest potential to reduce this risk, and that if all Australians added a small amount of extra grain fibre each day to their diet, we could see a major saving in the health care costs each year.

“This small dietary change could significantly improve the health of hundreds of thousands of Australians, as well as the health of the economy.

“Adding more fibre to your diet is as simple as eating fruit, vegetables, cereals and wholegrains each day, as recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

“The health and wellbeing of our nation is the Coalition’s top priority and we are determined to ensure that the importance of fibre is not overlooked.

“We want to make it easier for people to make better food choices which provide fibre”. Dr Gillespie said.

The report, Healthcare expenditure and productivity cost savings resulting from increased intake of grain fibre in Australia, conducted by Nutrition Research Australia and Deloitte Access Economics, with funding from Kellogg’s Australia.

For more information, contact the Minister’s Office on (02) 6277 4960

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