A study by the Health Economics and Social Policy Group at the University of South Australia has found huge health care savings if Australians would simply eat recommended levels of dairy products.
“We found that in the 2010-2011 financial year, $2.1 billion and the loss of 75,012 disability-adjusted life years were attributable to low dairy product consumption,” write the authors of the study.
The reason: “A growing body of evidence that low consumption of dairy products is associated with elevated risk of chronic metabolic and cardiovascular disorders,” says the authors.
“The estimated health care cost attributable to low dairy product consumption is comparable with total spending on public health in Australia. These findings justify the development and evaluation of cost-effective interventions that use dairy products as a vector for reducing the costs of diet-related disease,” they write.
The current population of Australia is just under 23 million people. The U.S. population is roughly 13 times that, or 305 million.
“The best U.S. estimate at this time is $26 billion [in health cost savings] over a year and more than $200 billion over five years. This demonstrates the importance of telling people what to eat, rather than what not to eat,” says Greg Miller, vice president of research, regulatory and scientific affairs with Dairy Management, Inc.
For a link to the Austrailian abstract, click here.