Published Papers - Abstract 530

Collins C, Hure A, Burrows T & Patterson A. Diet quality and its Potential Cost Savings. , 2013; : 41-49

Limited studies have determined the relationship between diet quality and health care costs. The current analysis investigates the relationship between Medicare health care costs and claims in Australia with diet quality, in a nationally representative sample of mid- aged Australian women over the 10-year period from 2001 to 2010. Health care utilization data was obtained from Medicare and diet quality was calculated using the Australian Recommended Food Score (ARFS). The ARFS is derived from Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) responses to foods that are consistent with national recommendations detailed in the Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults.It was found that consuming a greater variety of vegetables predicted lower 10-year cumulative Medicare Charges, Benefi t, Gap and a lower number of claims. However, for fruit, dairy and healthy fats component scores this relationship was in the opposite direction. Further evaluations in other studies are needed and will provide the basis for modelling future cost savings and may help to identify appropriate dietary targets associated with reduced health care costs.