Food and nutrition has been identified as one of four concerns requiring immediate attention in the Final Report handed down by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety today.

With a malnutrition crisis gripping older Australians, Dietitians Australia welcomes the emphasis on food and nutrition, which is a basic human right.

Engaging at least one dietitian at every aged care home, and a stronger focus on food and nutrition with the increase to the Basic Daily Fee, are just some of the recommendations provided in the Commission’s Final Report.

“Good food and nutrition are vital to healthy ageing – for both physical and mental health. With a quarter of online submissions to the Commission referring to nutrition and malnourishment, we’re pleased to see food and nutrition, and support from a dietitian, given the priority it deserves,” said Robert Hunt, CEO of Dietitians Australia.

Robert Hunt, who presented to the Royal Commission in Cairns in 2019, looks with interest to support dietitians and the sector to work towards better outcomes for older Australians.

“We know that undertaking a food first approach to reducing malnutrition would save more than $80 million which would otherwise be spent on costly malnutrition treatment. Collaboration between dietitians, chefs and the whole care team allows older Australians access to food that is nutritious, familiar, appetising and appropriate for their needs,” said Hunt.

“This ultimately results in better health and quality of life for those in aged care. It’s a win-win for all involved.”


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Note to editors: Dietitians Australia is the leading voice of nutrition in Australia, representing dietitians nationally and advocating for healthier communities. Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia.