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Total Wellbeing Diet is beneficial for public health

CSIRO : 08 October, 2006  (Technical Article)
CSIRO stands by the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet which is based on a number of scientific trials, and is scientifically proven, the Group Executive of Agribusiness and Health, Dr Alastair Robertson said today.
'Calls yesterday in the media for the Prime Minister to review it are just grandstanding,' he said

'Five weight loss studies were conducted by CSIRO on the diet, two of which were funded by industry -one by Meat and Livestock Australia, one by the dairy industry. The rest of the costs were covered by CSIRO. The findings of the research, like all of CSIRO’s research, were entirely independent.

'With more than half of the Australian population overweight or obese, a diet which assists people in losing weight while maintaining wellbeing is an important contribution to public health. Even losing a small amount of weight can lower blood pressure, blood glucose levels and LDL cholesterol levels.'

Author and research dietician Dr Manny Noakes said the diet is successful because Australians on the whole like higher levels of protein in their diet, the Total Wellbeing Diet advocates 200gms of lean red meat, fish and chicken as a daily part of the diet. Lean red meat (beef lamb or veal) is recommended four times a week, fish twice and chicken once.

'The Australian dietary guidelines suggest as a minimum 85-100 gms of red meat 3-4 times per week, but this is a minimum needed for adequate levels of nutrients, rather than a figure which shouldn’t be exceeded.'

'In our experience people have found the Total Wellbeing Diet useful because it is structured, it is balanced, and it combines with exercise to help them lose weight.'

Author and physician Dr Peter Clifton said concerns have also been expressed that a diet high in meat can lead to colon cancer. 'In CSIRO’s review of the literature the risk of an in increase in colon cancer as a result of eating lean red meat is infinitesimal. The Australian Dietary Guidelines also expressly state that there is no relationship between lean red meat consumption and colon cancer. Where there is a possible risk it is from eating processed high fat meat, which is not recommended.'

Dr Clifton said known risk factors for colon cancer include obesity, physical inactivity, high alcohol consumption, early adulthood cigarette smoking. Protective dietary factors include dietary fibre and folate.

'It is simplistic to say that eating red meat, or any single food, is a risk for colon cancer. What one needs to look at is the overall diet pattern of the food a person eats, as well as their lifestyle. The biggest lifestyle risks for colon cancer are being overweight and a lack of exercise.

'In addition, comments that a high protein, low fat diet would lead to more breast cancer and prostate cancer has no support whatsoever in the literature.'
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