NEW RESEARCH REVEALS UNEXPECTED GAP IN DIET OF OVER 80% OF AUSTRALIANS1

Sydney, Tuesday 25th August, 2015: Fruit juice has recently been attacked by anti-sugar activists, but science does not support cutting it out of our diets, according to new research released today.

These are results from an analysis of the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey involving more than 12,000 children and adults. This survey was a part of the Australian Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the most comprehensive health survey conducted in Australia.

“A very high percentage of Australians didn’t meet their dietary fruit intake recommendation by eating fruit alone*,” said Malcolm Riley, Research Scientist at CSIRO Food and Nutrition who led the analysis of the Australian Health Survey 2011-2012 data.

“But when fruit juice was also counted as a fruit serve, the percentage of Australians who reached their daily recommended fruit target more than doubled,” he concluded.

This news indicates that a glass of juice could help Australians get the goodness of fruit back into their diet, according to Fruit Juice Australia CEO, Geoff Parker.

“The Australian Dietary Guidelines state that a small, 125mL glass of fruit juice with no added sugar consumed occasionally can count towards a serve of fruit2, so it’s really positive to see robust evidence help inform Australians about their intake of core foods,” he said.

The analysis also showed that the total energy and sugar from fruit juice is small – about 1% of energy and 3.5% of sugar across the population1.

Supermodel, author and mum, Robyn Lawley who’s known for her stance against fad diets and passion for real food, has come out in support of these new findings.

“I am passionate about enjoying real foods as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle,” said the new mum. “Australia’s citrus growers produce some of the best quality fruit juice in the world, so knowing that an occasional glass of juice is perfectly ok is good news for all,” she added.

The CSIRO analysis also confirmed the significant contribution fruit juice made to the diet of Australians, providing around 60% of total vitamin C, 16% folate and 14% potassium amongst people who consumed juice on the surveyed day1.

Fruit growers have also welcomed the new research, with peak body Citrus Australia strongly supporting efforts to encourage Australians to include more fruit and juice in their diets.

Highlights:

In 2015, CSIRO independently re-analysed the data from the most recent Australian Health Survey, which included the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.  The survey collected information about the eating and drinking habits, physical activity and weight status of Australians.  The highlights of the secondary analysis report include:

  • 81% of children and 93% of adults did not meet their daily fruit recommendations from eating fruit aloneà.
  • For 14-18 year olds, when fruit juice is counted towards fruit intake the percentage who met their recommendation was greater by almost five (5) times (5% à 24%).
  • People who consumed fruit juice on the day of the survey had a better quality diet than people who didn’t.

ENDS

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For more information and/or to organise an interview with Robyn Lawley, Malcolm Riley or Geoff Parker please contact Caitlin Dennehy on (02) 8046 4373 / 0423 267 383 or Caitlin@f4ward.agency

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References

1 Hendrie, G.A; Baird, D; Syrette, J; Barnes, M; Riley, M (2015). Consumption of non-dairy, non-alcoholic beverages in the Australian population: A secondary analysis of the National Nutrition Survey 2011-12. CSIRO, Australia

2 National Health and Medical Research Council (2013). Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra, NHMRC

* Excludes fruit juice and dried fruit.

Notes to editors

Survey results include data on both consumers of juice and the whole population.  Consumer data includes people who consumed juice on the day of the survey.  Population data includes both people who consumed juice and those who did not, on the day of the survey.

The CSIRO secondary analysis was funded by the Australian Beverages Council. Fruit Juice Australia is a division of the Beverages Council. It aims to better understand the role of non-dairy, non-alcoholic beverages in the diet of Australians.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends on average 2 serves of fruit a day. Whole fruit is preferred for the fibre it provides. Fruit juice with no added sugar or dried fruit can occasionally contribute to the daily fruit intake target.

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