Study: Manitoba could reduce annual health care costs by $400 million through increased consumption of functional foods

WINNIPEG, Feb. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - According to the recently completed study, "Economic Impact to Manitoba of Increased Adoption of Healthy Food and Food Ingredients for Chronic Disease Management and Mitigation",there is substantial potential savings of between $360 to 400 million annually to the health care system in Manitoba by changing eating habits to include more functional foods - a reduction of more than 10% of the annual health costs in the province.  Agriculture economist Maria Jose Patiño Valiente, MSc used the Canadian Climate Advantage Diet (CCAD) model as the basis for determining the economic impact of increased consumption of functional foods on health care costs associated with diabetes and heart disease.  CCAD promotes the health benefits from increased consumption of Canadian grown and processed crops and livestock products.

"In Manitoba, the management and treatment of NCD represent approximately 60% of the total health expenditure in the province so new solutions are needed that address patient quality of life as well as fiscal realities," says Lee Anne Murphy, Executive Director of the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network Inc (MAHRN), the sponsor of the study.  "MAHRN's validation of the science base underlying the CCAD concept continues to build the evidence of the health impact of increased consumption of functional foods.  This economic validation is additional evidence of the fit of Manitoba's "Foods for Health" strategy for improving population wellness as well as returns to growers and food processors." Copies of the Executive Summary are available upon request to the MAHRN office.

This project was made possible with funding from the Canada and Manitoba governments through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network Inc (MAHRN) members- world-class facilities including Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM); Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (RCFFN) and Food Development Centre (FDC)- test and assess plant and animal-based bioactive compounds, from isolation and characterization through clinical proof of safety and efficacy to product development and commercialization.  MAHRN supports the commercialization of these bioactives as functional foods, food ingredients and natural health products through project coordination, communications, outreach and test market services. For more information, please visit www.mahrn.ca

The CCAD has at its foundation the validation of the benefits from increased consumption of high quality crops and healthier animal based products (which include canola oil, flaxseed, pulses, whole grains, potatoes and emerging crops, eggs, dairy, turkey, bison, freshwater fish, honey and grass fed beef.) For more information, please visit www.cca-portfolio.com

SOURCE Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network Inc

For further information: Lee Anne Murphy, PhD, Executive Director, Lam@mahrn.ca, (204) 228-3971

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Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network Inc

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