Oral Presentation ANZOS-ASLM-ICCR 2019

Nut consumption and health: A secondary analysis of the Australian Health Survey.  (#23)

Belinda Neville 1 , Elizabeth Neale 2 , Cassandra Nikodijevic 2 , Yasmine Probst 2 , Marijka Batterham 2 , Linda Tapsell 2
  1. Nuts For Life, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. School of Medicine | Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health , University of Wollongong, NSW

Nut consumption is associated with a range of health benefits. The aim of this study was to examine nut consumption in the nationally representative 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS), and to investigate associations between nut intake, nutrient intake, and anthropometric and blood pressure measurements. Usual consumption of nuts in the 2011-12 NNPAS was determined, and nut consumption was compared to dietary guideline recommendations of 30 grams nuts/day. The relationship between nut consumption, intake of key nutrients, anthropometric outcomes (weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference) and blood pressure was examined using linear regression. Mean nut intake was 4.61 (standard error: 0.125) grams per day, with only 5.6% of nut consumers consuming 30 grams of nuts per day. Nut consumption was significantly associated with greater intakes of fibre, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. There was no association between nut consumption and body weight, BMI, or blood pressure, however higher consumption of nuts was associated with significantly lower waist circumference. Australians do not appear to be meeting guidelines for nut consumption. The lack of an association between higher nut consumption and higher body weight was consistent with current evidence. The negative association found between quartiles of nut intake and waist circumference suggests that consumption of nuts may be associated with a healthier body composition. Strategies to increase nut intake to recommended levels are required and may include dispelling consumer myths around the impact of nut consumption on body weight.