Gut health key to tackling obesity

Is your gut stopping you from losing weight?

New research by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO has found a link between poor gut health and obesity.

With two-thirds of Australian adults considered either overweight or obese, CSIRO is calling on people to adopt high-fibre diets to combat poor gut health.

CSIRO Research Scientist Dr Gilly Hendie said a healthy gut was important for weight management.

“50 percent of Australians experience digestive upsets and one in seven experience distressing gut symptoms that can affect their quality of life,” she said.

“Overweight and obese Australians are more likely to suffer from gut health symptoms and tend to have a lower fibre diet.”

The CSIRO’s Gut Health and Weight Loss report found most Australians don’t eat enough fibre.

“Although most of us know that fibre helps improve gut health, the research shows 83% of Australians aren’t getting enough fibre in their diet and a high proportion of their fibre intake is coming from junk food,” Dr Hendrie said.    

“However, simply eating more fibre won’t help you lose weight if the rest of your diet is high in energy-dense, low-nutrient foods that are highly processed.”   

The report also found eating a diverse range of fibres from wholefood sources such as wholegrain cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit could also help improve overall health by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Dr Hendie recommends prioritising gut health.

“If you’re looking to lose weight, listening to your gut and eating a balanced diet high in fibre and protein will help relieve your gut symptoms and reduce your waistline without feeling ravenously hungry,” she said.

Symptoms of poor gut health

  • Frequent heartburn
  • Excessing burping
  • Frequent nausea
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Excessive flatulence

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