Foodstuffs

Thursday, 06 July 2017

New World partners with Wellington dietitian to raise awareness of digestive health

New World is partnering with well-known Registered Dietitian, Sarah Elliott from FoodSavvy, to raise awareness of the important role that food plays in bowel health.

Sarah will do this by sharing practical advice with consumers, in-store at the five New World stores located in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa, during the first half of July 2017.

The timing and location coincides with the roll-out of the National Bowel Screening Programme, starting with those living in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs, from July.

“What we eat and drink plays an important role in the health of our bowel,” says Sarah. “A healthy diet can help prevent bowel cancer, which kills more than 100 Kiwis every month. It can also help alleviate some of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, which an estimated 15,000 Kiwis suffer from and which can lead to bowel cancer, as well as the far more common set of symptoms known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is thought to affect one in seven people.”

Sarah was herself diagnosed with Crohn's disease 21 years ago, and today specialises in the dietary management of digestive issues such as IBS.

“IBS is something that affects so many Kiwis on a daily basis – it appears about 70% of them women – with symptoms that include abdominal pain, diarrhoea or constipation. Yet it’s been proven that diet can alleviate it.”

She says there’s now medical proof – and growing public awareness – that IBS can be exacerbated by foods that are high in FODMAP compounds (Fermentable, Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides, Polyols).

“These are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the intestine and affect those of us who are susceptible to IBS by creating an over-production of gas which causes their intestines to bloat, and unfortunately, some of our most favourite foods are high in FODMAPs: apples, pears, peas, onions, garlic, cow’s milk, yoghurt and ice cream, and wheat-based bread, biscuits, cereals and pasta.”

Sarah will be available to answer queries about the FODMAP diet and food choices in general that can improve bowel health and overall wellbeing, from 10am – 2pm, on these dates at these stores:

• Tuesday, 4 July at New World Hutt City
• Friday, 7 July at New World Silverstream
• Wednesday, 12 July at New World Stokes Valley
• Friday, 14 July at New World Carterton
• Tuesday, 18 July at New World Masterton

Her advice will not constitute a formal consultation, and people with IBS symptoms or an interest in a low-FODMAP diet should first have a private appointment with a registered health professional.

“A low-FODMAP should ideally be trialled for 2 – 6 weeks, followed by review, and then a structured re-introduction of FODMAP-containing foods into the diet, to determine which can trigger IBS. For those who don’t suffer from IBS, FODMAP-containing foods can actually benefit the gut flora.”

Doug Cochrane, General Manager Retail, Foodstuffs North Island, says bringing a registered dietitian into select stores ties in with New World’s commitment to providing a quality shopping experience.

“That commitment includes helping shoppers make healthy food choices, and having someone of Sarah’s calibre providing in-store advice in the same areas where the Bowel Screening Programme will begin was a way of showing our support for the programme and our care for our shoppers.”

“We are looking forward to see the outcome of Sarah’s appearances at those five stores in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa. We may also consider the same activity in other stores.”

For more information on the National Bowel Screening Programme, see http://bowelscreening.health.govt.nz/

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