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

 
Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Set In Stone

Tthere are over a thousand public war memorials scattered around the country, commemorating over 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in wartime, and most of whom are buried overseas. More>>>More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland