Only one per cent of Australians are severely vitamin D deficient, new figures show – but there’s still a high rate of less serious deficiency, with a quarter of Australian adults affected.And people with darker skin, those who work indoors, the disabled and elderly and those who live in the southern states are particularly at risk… which could mean bone health problems down the track.Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday show that around one in four Australian adults have a vitamin D deficiency, says Louise Gates, ABS director of Health Statistics.“The good news is that most of these... Read more

Most people think they eat more fruit and vegetables than they actually do—and so they don’t see any need to make changes to their diet, a Curtin University researcher and dietician says.

Research released earlier this month in the UK recommends people in England should eat five serves of fruit and vegetables every day; in Australia two serves of fruit and five of vegetables have long been recommended. France recommends 11 servings a day. And late last month a study by University College London said a healthy diet... Read more

Pharmacies should reconsider selling homoeopathic remedies, says the chair of the working committee that helped develop the NHMRC Draft Information Paper on homoeopathy.

The NHMRC draft Information Paper: Evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy for treating health conditions, released this week, looked at published systematic reviews, information provided by homoeopathy interest groups and individuals, and evidence-based guidelines and government reports to assess the evidence base for homoeopathy.

It... Read more

Coeliac disease needs to be taken more seriously, as its long-term effects can be serious, even deadly, says Penny Dellsperger, Coeliac Australia’s technical officer.

Coeliac Awareness Week (13-20 Mar) has just started, with a strong consumer campaign aimed at encouraging diagnosis.

“If someone’s not diagnosed or treated properly – if they’re not on a gluten-free diet – long-term complications can included really serious things, like cancers, osteoporosis, infertility in men and women and liver disease,”... Read more

Christmas and Boxing Day are prime time for tummy trouble, says the Gut Foundation’s Professor Terry Bolin – not only do a huge percentage of people eat too much food and drink too much alcohol, but the nature of these foods can trigger symptoms in people with existing conditions and intolerances.

Frequent eating out, including at barbecues and buffets, can be a source of food poisoning, he says.

‘Chicken, for example, is notorious for salmonella,’ says Terry. ‘And they say eggs are as well, at the moment;... Read more

As the New Year draws close and many people start to think about losing weight, it’s important to remember that we need to consume balanced diets that draw from all food groups, says Aloysa Hourigan, senior nutritionist at Nutrition Australia.

‘Each group of foods contains a range of different nutrients in different proportions, that are all important for our health,’ says Aloysa.

‘If we cut out a whole group, for example all the dairy, you’re going to get a major drop in nutrients like calcium and protein,... Read more