News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


No Silver Bullet In Tackling Nutritional Challenges

‘Food Literacy’ No Silver Bullet In Tackling Nutritional Challenges

Agencies for Nutrition Action media release, 9 May 2013

'Food literacy’ has become the new buzzword in health policy circles, says leading Australian academic and social nutritionist Associate Professor Danielle Gallegos.

More and more, it is seen as a silver bullet for complex problems such as obesity and poor nutrition, she told today’s national nutrition and physical activity conference in Rotorua.

“Too often the term is used to mean individuals cooking food, preferably from scratch. The implication being if people knew how to cook, all would be fine. We would have no overweight people,” she says.

“But we know from TV cooking shows that just knowing how to cook does not necessarily make you svelte.”

Discipline leader for nutrition and dietetics at Queensland University of Technology, Associate Professor Gallegos set out a fresh definition of food literacy, one that acknowledges the realities for some individuals in maintaining healthy nutrition when facing economic and dietary pressures.

The conference, with the theme “It Starts With Us: Ma Mātau E Timata”, is hosted by Agencies for Nutrition Action (ANA), a national body committed to improving nutrition and physical activity in Aotearoa.

“For governments and policymakers, the term ‘food literacy’ has become a convenient way of packaging a range of knowledge and skills that individuals can use to purportedly ensure diet quality,” she says. 

But she says much of what individuals need to know and understand about food and nutrition is contextual. Sometimes ensuring what she called ‘dietary resilience’ involves individuals going to extremes to feed themselves.

She cites the example taken from a recent study of a young homeless woman living under a bridge in Queensland who routinely ‘accessed’ food for herself and her homeless friends.

“She would go to a supermarket and steal barbecue chicken and bread, thereby creating a meal. Context really matters.” 

For Associate Professor Gallegos, a better definition of food literacy is ‘the scaffolding that empowers individuals, households, communities or nations to protect diet quality through change and strengthen dietary resilience over time.  

”It is about having the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to plan, manage, select, prepare and eat food to meet needs and determine intake.”

She says an important function of her definition is acknowledging the breadth of sectors and settings with a vested interest in food literacy.

“What I am talking about is far more than nutritionists telling people how to cook food. Nutritionists need to focus on supporting as well as leading partnerships in the community. It’s about empowering people to build a healthy relationship with food.”

Based at the school of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Associate Professor Gallegos has many years of experience as a practicing public health nutritionist as well as significant experience as a research project manager.

She works with a diverse range of groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities (in particular refugee families) and women.

Agencies for Nutrition Action – Ngā Takawaenga Hāpai Kai Hauora (ANA) has 11 members. They are the Asian Network Inc, Cancer Society of NZ, National Heart Foundation of NZ, Diabetes NZ, Dietitians NZ, Home Economics and Technology Teachers Assn of NZ, NZ Nutrition Foundation, NZ Recreation Assn, Te Hotu Manawa Māori, Pacific Island Food and Nutrition Action Group, and the Stroke Foundation of NZ.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

TV3 Video: NZ Praised For Sportsmanship After Cricket World Cup Final Loss

New Zealand may have been outplayed in the Cricket World Cup final by Australia, but received praise worldwide for their graciousness in defeat. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Werewolf: Finding Love In Hell

Will it really be 25 years in May since David Lynch’s Wild at Heart won big at Cannes, nabbing no less than the Palme d’Or? Amazing but true, and yet the film that was briefly Lynch’s most feted, now seems to be his most forgotten. More>>

ALSO:

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news