Nuts for Life – Educating health professionals (HN19000)
What was it all about?
This three-year project, which ran from 2020 to 2023, has been built on a lineage of projects since 2003 and has reduced the gap between Australian’s current daily nut consumption, and the recommended consumption.
It did this by continuing to increase awareness among key opinion leaders and health professionals, of the role nuts play in a healthy diet, and to position nuts as an integral part of plant-rich dietary patterns.
The following activities were conducted:
- Commissioned a research group to systematically review the evidence that supports a high-level health claim that nuts have a range of cardiometabolic benefits, including reducing cardiovascular disease. A submission to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand was informed by the research findings.
- Sponsored a PhD program to investigate the available energy content of nuts.
- Engagement in the review process for the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines was undertaken.
- Collation, distribution and communication across an array of channels of the findings from these research projects, as well as additional nut research.
Overall, despite some disruptions throughout the project as a direct result of the COVID pandemic, the growth of the industry in terms of value and volume remained stable – a value worth $692 million and 66,100 tonnes to the industry. Industry data suggests that Australians are consuming an average of 7g of tree nuts per day (noting this figure excludes peanuts).
Health professionals surveyed at the conclusion of the project indicated that their knowledge of the role of nuts for chronic disease prevention was maintained or strengthened, with nearly all (95 per cent) stating that they recommend nuts to their clients or patients as part of a healthy diet.
Key insights and learnings from this project will be used and implemented in future iterations of the Nuts for Life program.