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Australian dietary guidelines to be reviewed

Finally, the announcement we’ve all been waiting for in Australia.

In long awaited news, on July 17 the Australian Government announced  funding of $2.5 million to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to review the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs). The ADGs were scheduled for review in 2018 so this announcement is later than expected but will be welcomed by health professionals, educators and the food industry. The review of the guidelines will ensure government dietary advice is based on the best and latest scientific evidence and will help shape nutrition policy and programs. The first step for the NHMRC is to review the evidence from Australia and around the world. Consultation with stakeholders will be undertaken throughout the review process.

And on related policy matters, the chorus is growing louder among the nutrition community for a national nutrition policy. The last one was in 1992. A recommendation to develop a comprehensive nutrition policy was made by the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation in 2011. A scoping study was completed in 2013 and the process to complete a new nutrition policy was anticipated to take two years. But since then, nothing has eventuated. Such a policy would provide an overarching framework to identify, prioritise, drive and monitor nutrition initiatives to promote health.