RETIRED Tasmanians have the best nutrition in the world and should be modelled to other countries, US scientist Robert Glew said in Launceston yesterday.
The professor, who has speicalised in health and nutritional for 46 years, said his latest study showed Tasmanians older than 55 had the highest level of Omega-3 fatty acids he had ever seen reported.
"You're off the charts," Professor Glew said.
"We find that the elderly here are extremely health conscious.
"They retire and they stay active ... which is a real, real, good thing."
Professor Glew is in Tasmania for three weeks undertaking a number of studies, including his most recent: A study of the Omega-3 fatty acid status of the elderly in Tasmania.
The study is being compiled with the assistance of University of Tasmania School of Human Life Sciences research's Dr Kiran Ahuja and human bioscience and anatomy teacher Jane Pittaway.
Professor Glew said the main reasons Tasmania's Omega-3 levels were so high were because of the fish, fish oil and the Tasmanian lifestyle.
"People grow up and they volunteer and they keep busy ... which is one reason why they stay so healthy both physically and mentally," he said.
"In the US and European countries obesity is a really big problem, but there seems to be a lot less of it here.
"And I think that lifestyle in Tasmania, if they maintain it, can be a model for other places."
However, Tasmanians should try to eat more fish instead of taking fish oil capsules, Professor Glew advised.
"You get the omega fatty acids, plus high-quality protein, plus vitamins and nutrients [in fish] which you don't get in capsules," he said.
"The problem is we need to make fish more available.
"Fish is too expensive here so people do need to supplement it."
High levels of Omega 3 have been reported to decrease the risk of heart disease, improve wound healing and improve learning and brain development.
Professor Glew's study of the Omega-3 fatty acid status of elderly in Tasmania will be submitted next week and is expected to be published within a few months.