NHMRC Public Consultations

Skip Navigation and go to Content
Visit NHMRC website

Appendix to the Australian Dietary Guidelines: Dietary Guidelines through an environmental lens submission

This submission reflects the views of
Individual Background: 
Please add further information: 
hospital dietitian
Personal Details
First Name: 
Last Name: 
General Comments

While you might imagine a dietitian would only care about the nutritional aspect of the dietary guidelines, and not the environmental implications, this is far from being the case. It is precisely because I have to advise people on food choices, and do not have training in the environment, that I welcome this appendix to the guidelines. Every part of our society has to look at becoming environmentally sustainable and the food supply is no exception. It appears that a number of industry groups have self-interest at heart in wanting to remove environmental information from the Australian Dietary Guidelines. But their argument that environmental considerations have no place in a 'dietary' guideline don't make sense - it would be like saying that builders shouldn't try to make sustainable buildings (such as those that use shade and cross-ventilation so they need less airconditioning) because they should be focusing on 'building' and not the environment, or that a mine should not worry about sustainable practices (such as avoiding poisoning the surrounding water catchment) because it should be focusing on 'mining' and not the environment. Environment isn't a separate issue that can be addressed on its own - it is addressed by everyone considering their own impact. And since food choice has one of the biggest environmental impacts an individual can have, environment should be very much at the centre of official guidance on food choices which in this case means the Dietary Guidelines. In fact, I am disappointed that the environmental information is only an appendix, since this implies some kind of peripheral significance rather than the central one it actually has in life.

Page reviewed: 4 February, 2013