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Paper moves eggs to top nutrition budget option

27/11/2009

A new paper published this week (27 November) highlights how the egg has moved from a food that was once restricted, to one that can help meet a wide range of nutritional requirements as well as helping in weight management.

The paper also quotes a recent economic analysis published in the US which concluded that limiting the population’s egg consumption is not only unnecessary but is also not cost-effective as removing the nutritional benefits of eggs could lead to other, less affordable disease outcomes.

The new paper, published in the December issue of Food Science & Technology, the quarterly journal of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (www.ifst.org), concludes that the lifting of the long-standing restriction on the consumption of eggs, due to their cholesterol content, is fortunate and timely from a nutritional perspective.

“Eggs boast an impressive nutrient profile that is more convenient and affordable than other similarly nutrient-dense foods,” say authors Professor Bruce Griffin and Dr Juliet Gray.

The paper states that eggs are unsurpassed as a single food that can help us to meet daily requirements for protein and essential micronutrients throughout life, and quotes the US analysis of the economic impact of the risks and benefits of eating eggs, compared to the costs of developing disease from not eating them.  This analysis concluded that limiting egg consumption was not cost-effective from a societal perspective and that removing the nutritional benefits of eggs could lead to other, less affordable, disease outcomes.

The Food Science & Technology paper also addresses evidence to suggest that the energy density of our food may be a key regulator for body weight, a concept which supports the replacement of high energy density food with foods of lower energy density. The authors conclude that: “Eggs fit perfectly into this category, as a single food with a relatively low energy density and a nutrient dense profile, that may help to promote satiety and suppress appetite”

Notes to editors

The nutritional properties of eggs by Prof. Bruce Griffin and Dr Juliet Gray appears in the December 2009 issue (vol. 13 (4), 14-16) of Food Science & Technology, the quarterly journal of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. The full article is accessible via the IFST website.

Single food focus dietary guidance: lessons learned from an economic analysis of egg consumption by Jordana K Schmier, Leila M Barraj and Nga L Tran was published in Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation in April 2009.

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