An increase in the dairy intake of Australians could see a saving of $2 billion in healthcare spending annually, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Health Economics and Social Policy Group at the University of South Australia say that Australia's low dairy consumption is proving to have an impact on the country's healthcare expenditure.
The study found that approximately 65 per cent of Australians currently consume less than the recommended serves of dairy foods – such as milk, cheese and yogurt.
Co-author Professor Leonie Segal believes the potential healthcare savings associated with consuming the recommended amount of dairy are significant.
"The largest healthcare savings were associated with the maintenance of a healthy body weight," she said.
"Other calculated healthcare savings came from dairy's beneficial effects on type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension and osteoporosis."
Those looking to reduce the risk of disease and improve their overall health may benefit from weight loss and management services made available through some private health insurance providers.
The research concluded that there is strong justification for developing interventions focused on increasing dairy consumption to reduce the costs of diet-related disease.