A national approach to food and nutrition

Dietitians Australia advocates for a national approach to food and nutrition for the health of Australians.

Australia last updated its national nutrition policy in 1992. Since that time, the diet-related health of Australians has become worse. Food insecurity is also on the rise.

In April 2021, the Government released a National Preventative Health Strategy recognising the pivotal role that food and nutrition plays in good health.

The Strategy has the potential to deliver many health, environmental and productivity benefits to Australians. But an update to the 1992 National Food and Nutrition Policy is also needed. Dietitians Australia has called the Australian Government for an up-to-date National Nutrition Strategy.

Dietitians Australia has been calling for a national focus on food and nutrition for many years.  In 2019, we released the report  Nourish not Neglect: Putting health on our nation’s table.

National Nutrition Strategy

Dietitians Australia, along with the Public Health Association of Australia, Nutrition Australia and the Heart Foundation, has called for the Australian Government to update the 1992 Policy into an up-to-date National Nutrition Strategy with a well-resourced, co-ordinated, evidence-based and strategic action plan.

Read our Joint Position Statement calling for an updated National Nutrition Strategy.

National Preventative Health Strategy

The National Preventive Health Strategy released in April 2021 is an important step in the right direction for the health of Australia.  

The National Preventive Health Strategy proposes systemic changes that will make it easier for Australians to adopt healthy diets.  

For the strategy to be effective, it needs to:  

  • Focus on food literacy in schools 
  • Make healthier foods cheaper and easier to access 
  • Boost investment in Australia’s food production sector, focusing on healthier foods 
  • Foster and encourage social connections through food 
  • Increase spending on preventive health 

It also recommends all nutrition and food action in Australia be guided by a specific national policy document.  

Dietitians Australia provided comment on the draft strategy. Read our submission and media release.

Nourish not Neglect

This report outlines the social and economic costs of poor nutrition and the importance of a coordinated and collaborative approach to our nutritional health.  

We want a new nutrition policy to: 

  • make Australians healthier  
  • support the role of dietitians 
  • promote healthy nutrition programs  
  • reduce the rising cost of diet-related chronic disease
  • inform government and non-government health agencies

Read our report  Nourish not Neglect: Putting health on our nation’s table.

Why we need a new approach

We’re at a turning point for the nutritional health of our nation. The social and economic costs of Australia’s poor diet-related health are growing. 

27,500 people die a preventable death each year from an unhealthy diet [1]

Get in touch

If you have questions about the national food and nutrition policies, contact us at policy@dietitiansaustralia.org.au  

[1] Crosland P, Ananthapavan J, Davison J et al. 2019. The health burden of preventable disease in Australia: a systematic review. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 43(2):163-170. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12882.