Research update: cereal fibre reduces chronic disease; eating breakfast helps prevent heart attack; breakfast cereal helps food insecure children

New Scientific Statement: Cereal fibre and whole grains reduce obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk

The evidence that foods high in cereal fibre and whole grains reduce the risk of excess weight gain, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease has been strengthening over the last 10 years1. In their latest review, the American Society of Nutrition concluded that people who eat foods rich in cereal fibre or mixtures of whole grains and bran are significantly less likely to develop obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.2 Unfortunately, despite the high number of Australians at risk of these conditions, Australians are still not eating enough healthy grain foods3 – especially those high in fibre and whole grains. This new scientific statement is a good reminder for all Australians to enjoy grain foods three to four times a day, choosing at least half that are high fibre or whole grain. It’s an easy step towards a healthier future.

New research: Eating breakfast helps prevent heart disease

The latest research paper from the Health Professionals follow-up study found that men who skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of heart attack and fatal coronary heart disease than those who ate breakfast regularly.4 This is most likely because men who eat breakfast regularly are more likely have lower body weight, and less likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus, compared to those who skip breakfast. The study is the first to consider links between eating habits and coronary heart disease. During the 16 years of follow up, the study assessed the eating habits of 26, 902 men.

New research: Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal linked with better nutrient intake in food insecure children

One in ten Australians turn to charities each year to obtain enough food – and around half of them are children.5 This new study from the US found that food insecure children were less likely to eat breakfast and more likely to be overweight and have lower nutrient intakes than children who had access to enough food – but their nutrition and health could be significantly improved by eating ready-to-eat breakfast cereal. For both food insecure and food secure children, the study found that consuming ready-to-eat breakfast cereal was associated with eating breakfast, better nutrient intakes and healthier diets. Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal is an affordable, nutrient fortified breakfast that can help many food insecure, Australian children meet their nutritional needs at this important stage of development.  


      1. National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra.
      2. Cho SS et al, Consumption of cereal fiber, mixtures of whole grains and bran, and whole grains and risk reduction in type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013.
      3. Project Go Grain, for the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council, Colmar Brunton 2011.
      4. Cahill L et al. Prospective study of breakfast eating and incident of coronary heart disease in a cohort of male US health professionals. Circulation 2013.
      5. Hunger in Australia – The Facts. Foodbank Australia.
      6. Albertson AM et al. Ready-to-eat cereal intake is associated with improved nutrient profile among food secure children in the United States. Journal of Hunger and Environment 2013.

  For more information: Leigh Reeve. Director ABCMF

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