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

ID: 
45
This submission reflects the views of
Individual Background: 
Private individual/non affiliated
Personal Details
First Name: 
Rebecca
Last Name: 
Stiegler
General Comments
Comments: 

I congratulate the NHMRC for responding to feedback and developing this Appendix, I am disappointed that this information was not included in the body of the document because protecting the environment is the key to a sustainable food supply.

As a community dietitian, I agree with the statement made in the draft Australian Dietary Guideline (ADG) that “Increasingly, Australians are seeking advice from health [including dietitian-nutritionists] and medical practitioners about food choices and their possible impact on the environment”. For this reason, the inclusion of environment into the ADGs is vital to assist nutrition experts to provide evidence-based information to the public on this topic. In my experience patients are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental issues pertaining to certain food choices, and I have been asked about the envirnonmental impacts of the dietary recommendations I make at least 2-3 times a week. This document is essential to support the ADGs and guide myself and my patients.

Communication of environmental messages relating to food choices to the public is also important, and increasingly in my experience the public is looking for information from online sources in addition to health professionals. Therefore the importance of this document as an appendix cannot be underempahsised. I would recommend that the information included in the ADG (in the text or, at minimum, an appendix) is used in the development of the companion resources for the general public. My preference would be to include this within the mainstream documents; however, a separate resource on eating for environmental sustainability would also be useful.  

I can only stress again how vital I believe this document is to health professionals including myself, my patients and the general public. I believe the demand for this information and its relevance will only increase in coming years, and given the time typical between updates of the ADGs, it is essential and timely for this document to be included.      

Page reviewed: 4 February, 2013