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Eating Habits Give Kiwis A Bellyache

For Immediate Release                                                                                                       

6 December 2007                                                                 

Eating Habits Give Kiwis A Bellyache

Survey reveals risk of illness and disease     


Survey results1 released today reveal more than half of New Zealand children (55.9%), and more than two thirds of New Zealand adults (68.4%) are suffering from recurring gastro intestinal health problems including tummy pain, constipation and diarrhoea, possibly due to a lack of fibre in their diet.  

The survey1, commissioned by Metamucil Fibresure, shows that those who do experience gastro intestinal problems have frequent recurrences. More than half of the adults (53.8%) and almost half (46.9%) of the children who suffer from constipation, diarrhoea or tummy pain experience ongoing problems once per month or more.

Consultant Gastroenterologist and former president of the New Zealand Gastroenterological Society, Dr Ian Wallace, says it’s concerning that Kiwis aren’t getting enough fibre and potentially putting themselves and their kids at risk of health problems.

“The issues here are the role of an adequate fibre intake as part of a healthy eating pattern as well as the role of fibre in the management of gastro-intestinal symptoms,” says Dr Wallace.

“A healthy diet with a balance of fibre, fruit and vegetables has been to shown to protect against the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cholesterol related heart problems. There is some evidence, although by no means conclusive, that an increased fibre intake in the diet may also protect against bowel cancer.

“An increase in fibre intake may be beneficial in the management of gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly constipation related problems. However, specialist assessment of persistent symptoms is advised, as gastrointestinal symptoms may have a number of possible causes and it is not always correct to simplistically lump all these symptoms in to the diagnosis ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’.”

The survey, commissioned by Metamucil Fibresure, targeted mainly families and responses were gathered using online survey tool Respondents were asked a series of questions about the diet and fibre intake of themselves and their families.

Just over half of all mums surveyed (51.8%) felt they didn’t understand enough about fibre and how to incorporate it into the diet of their family and 50% had no idea how much fibre a five-year-old child needs each day.1

Fussy eating amongst kids¹ was the most common reason causing the lack of fibre in the diet, according to almost one-third of those surveyed (32.6%); and almost half of all respondents claimed their children do not eat a single serve of whole grains daily ¹.  The results indicate parents are finding it increasingly difficult to get their family to eat enough fibre.

New tasteless and odourlesss fibre supplement Metamucil Fibresure™ offers a peace of mind solution as it can be cooked into family favourite recipes such as pasta and lasagne, or easily mixed into favourite cordials and ice cream desserts without fussy eaters ever knowing.

Fibersure™ is light in texture and 100-percent-natural inulin vegetable fibre, harvested from chicory roots. Inulin is found in more than 30,000 plants, including fruits and vegetables.

Metamucil Fibresure™ is available in two sizes including a 34 Dose (197 grams) RRP $ 14.99 and 57 Dose (330 grams) RRP $23.99 and can be purchased from most supermarkets and pharmacies.



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