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

This submission reflects the views of
Individual Background: 
Student – undergraduate
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General Comments

As a future dietitian I cannot believe how something this important could NOT be included in the ADGs, I’m extremely disappointed they aren’t front and centre. The sustainability of our food supply will have a huge impact on the population’s health and my future clients. Environmental sustainability impacts our whole society, not just food supply. But considering how vital the food supply is, surely we should be emphasising this a bit more?
Obviously nutrition is the primary goal of the ADGs, but health and environment go hand in hand. We can’t have a healthy population without a healthy and sustainable food supply. The public needs to be aware of this and what they can do about, thus it is essential these guidelines are published. I support the DAA’s (soon to be submitted) statement regarding amendments to this appendix.
In the words of my dietetic colleague, it doesn’t make sense for industry groups to say that environmental guidelines have no place in dietary guidelines.. “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 air-conditioning) 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."

The draft guidelines state: “The environmental impact of food production depends on the particular environmental outcome examined and each can have a significant environmental impact, which can also alter the Australian food system, with implications for yield, quality and affordability.” The implications of yield, quality and affordability determine the availability and accessibility of food, which are extremely important social determinants for health and nutrition.

I strongly support this appendix being published with ammendments recommended by the DAA.

Page reviewed: 4 February, 2013