Food & diet

Food labelling laws to start on 1 July

Australian consumers will have much greater certainty about the origins of the food they buy after the introduction of mandatory Country of Origin food labelling from 1 July.

Consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said it would conduct market surveillance checks on 10,000 food products to ensure businesses were correctly displaying the new labels.

Workplace treats take toll on workers' waistlines

It may be only a distant memory for those long retired but for many Australians still working, there is no escaping what workplace treats are doing to their waistlines, a new study has found.

Few can resist the lure of ‘free’ sweets, cakes or hot sausage rolls bought or made by generous and well-meaning employers or fellow workers.

Americans acknowledge they have the same problem, with a survey of 5,222 employees across the United States showing 22 per cent of them obtained food and beverages from work at least once a week.

Nation fatigued by new energy crisis

Inadequate sleep, missed meals and a lack of exercise are sapping Australians of the energy needed for everyday activity and it’s impacting on productivity and the national economy, new research shows.

A recent survey of 1,200 people, conducted by University of Sydney’s Business School and Sydney-based human performance firm Energx, found on average, Australian women believed they had sufficient energy for themselves and important activities on just four out of every 10 days.

Men felt they had sufficient energy on just five of every 10 days.

Vitamin pills may harm, not help

Some vitamin supplements may increase your risk of dying prematurely, a new report has shown.

Canadian and French scientists reviewed 179 different studies and found no evidence vitamin or mineral pills protected against, or helped to treat, heart disease.

Some supplements, such as vitamin B3 (niacin) and antioxidants, could increase the risk of death. The one exception was folic acid supplements, which might reduce the risk of stroke. 

Apps may be the stick to eat more carrots

Smartphone apps could be the key to helping Australians eat enough vegetables, Australia’s science agency the CSIRO said.

Despite evidence that eating vegetables could cut the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer, it was estimated more than 19 million Australians were not meeting their minimum dietary guideline recommendation.

Launched last year, CSIRO's VegEze app uses game-like features to encourage Australian adults to eat more veggies through a 21-day Do 3 at Dinner challenge.

People with diabetes at higher risk of flu

More than 650,000 Australians with diabetes aged 65 and over are being urged to have a flu shot after a nightmare season claimed more than 1000 lives last year.

Diabetes Australia’s Professor Greg Johnson said people with diabetes were more likely to be hospitalised with the flu and were much more likely to die from it than people without the disease.

“All Australians with diabetes should get the flu shot, but older Australians are at a higher risk of severe flu and even death,” Prof. Johnson said.

Five healthy habits can add 10 years to your life

Maintaining five healthy habits can add a decade to your life expectancy, new research has found.

The new study, led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, not drinking too much and not smoking in adulthood were the keys to a longer life.

Obesity trigger identified in the human gut

New research has found serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ ‘chemical that transmits messages between the body’s nerve cells, can make you fat.

Seratonin is a key ingredient for happiness and sadness but scientists have found it is also a force in our body’s weight gain and calorie control.

Australian and overseas researchers have uncovered more evidence showing elevated levels of serotonin in the gut were bad for the human metabolism, increasing blood glucose and fat mass and putting us in danger of developing diabetes and obesity.

Eating wild mushrooms is a risky business

People are being urged not to pick and eat wild mushrooms in southern and Western Australia this autumn – or they run the risk of ingesting the potentially lethal deathcap mushrooms.

“The poison in one deathcap mushroom is enough to kill a healthy adult,” said Australia’s Food Safety Information Council chair Rachelle Williams.

In 2012, two people died after eating the deadly mushrooms in Canberra, and in 2014 four people were seriously poisoned, she said.

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