The National Retail Association (NRA) has welcomed the announcement from the Federal Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport to adopt an inquiry into Diabetes in Australia, following a referral from the Minister for Health and Aged, Care, the Hon Mark Butler MP.

NRA Health and Nutrition Committee Chair Dr Alan Barclay said the retail sector has considerable insight and evidence to provide to the inquiry.

“The health and wellbeing of Australians is influenced by the retail and food service sector,” Dr Barclay said.

“Excess kilojoule consumption and poor diets are major contributors to type 2 diabetes and other health problems, and food retailers are key shapers of the food environment that influence consumer food choices.”

Dr Barclay, a renowned expert in the field of diabetes prevention and management, said Aussies are increasingly looking to retailers for a range of nutritious options.

“Retailers must offer better access to foods and drinks that promote healthy diets, and at the same time educate consumers about the health benefits of their products.

“The expectations in this space are constantly evolving as consumers become more health conscious, and we’ve seen a growing consumer segment shift value onto their health and embrace wellbeing in many aspects of their lives.

“Meeting these expectations can be a challenge for retailers as they must be strategic in how they meet the health needs of consumers in ways that are also convenient, tasty and affordable.

“The inquiry is an opportunity for us to expand on the work we are already undertaking on behalf of retailers, and we look forward to submitting evidence on behalf of the sector.”

The National Retail Association is the voice of modern retail, representing more than 60,000 stores across Australia. It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast-food sectors for close to 100 years.

Dr Alan Barclay is available for media interviews. For more information, please phone the NRA media unit on 0467 792 013.