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The Health and Wellness Effects of Organic Diets

Oates, Liza; Cohen, Marc and Braun, Lesley (2014) The Health and Wellness Effects of Organic Diets. In: Rahmann, G. and Aksoy, U. (Eds.) Building Organic Bridges, Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Braunschweig, Germany, 1, Thuenen Report, no. 20, pp. 9-12.

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Consumers of both conventional and organic food believe that organic foods are healthier yet research supporting these beliefs is currently limited. The Organic Health and Wellness Survey (OHWS) aimed to gain a better understanding of the beliefs, personal wellbeing and health experiences reported by regular organic consumers in Australia with a view to using this information to direct future research that will be more meaningful to consumers. The OHWS was conducted online in October to December 2011 and received 404 usable responses. Respondents were predominantly female, tertiary educated, in a healthy weight range; and had a higher than average rating on the Personal Wellbeing Index for adults (PWI-A). The OHWS also found that 75.7% of respondents perceived their overall health to be better since moving to an organic diet, with an average improvement of 2.5 points on a 10-point scale. Respondents reported the dietary change was associated with improvements in: resistance to and recovery from illness (71.1%), physical energy (61.1%), condition of skin/ hair/ nails (58.4%), mental alertness (56.7%), mood stability (56.3%), and sense of satiety (55.4%). Many respondents referred to psychological benefits from purchasing products they believe reflect their values, and 62.5% had made other dietary or lifestyle changes around the time they moved to an organic diet that may positively impact their health. Despite the non-representative, self-selected sample used, these results are consistent with similar studies in Australia and abroad. Where commonalities exist and where there are biological rationales to explain these effects future research may be warranted. It is recommended that future research also incorporates a wholistic approach to fully capture the potential of organic diets to positively impact health.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:wellness, organic diets, organic consumers
Agrovoc keywords:
Organic foods
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2014: 18th IFOAM OWC Scientific Track: 4th ISOFAR Scientific Conference
Australia > Other organizations
Deposited By: Oates, Dr Liza
ID Code:23749
Deposited On:28 Oct 2014 09:01
Last Modified:28 Oct 2014 09:01
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:urn:nbn:de:gbv:253-201407-dn053621-1

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