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  • Poor nutrition is making us sick: education can drive change

    Author: HealthTimes

Poor nutrition is making our nation sick. The current typical Western diet is nutrient poor and energy dense, and is one of the major causes of obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). As much as 88% of health loss in Australia and New Zealand can be attributed to NCDs, many of which can be prevented with a healthy diet.

The 2019 EAT-Lancet Commission was tasked to find the most advantageous diet for preventing NCDs, while sustaining a growing population in the most environmentally protective way. The report overwhelmingly supported a transformation towards plant-based diets. A whole food plant-based diet is scientifically proven to have the ability to prevent and even reverse some chronic diseases.

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Co-founder of health promotion charity Doctors For Nutrition, Dr Heleen Haitjema, highlights that one of the major stumbling blocks to nutrition, specifically whole food plant-based nutrition, being used as a tool in disease prevention and care is simply lack of education.

“Plant-based nutrition is one of the most powerful and yet underutilised interventions in healthcare. Thousands of deaths could be avoided each year with a corresponding reduction in cases of NCDs such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

“Health practitioners play a leading role, supporting people to improve their quality of life. But if they don’t receive the necessary nutrition training, which many don’t, they won’t feel confident to recommend nutrition as their prescription of choice,” Dr Haitjema said.


To combat this, her charity is hosting the Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference (NIHC) 2023. Some of the biggest names in whole food plant-based nutrition and healthcare will arrive in Melbourne to present their indispensable knowledge and research.

Dr Haitjema said that: “this is the perfect learning opportunity for all health professionals with an interest in exploring the diet/disease relationship.”

Registration is now open for the Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference (NIHC) 2023.


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