Nutrition And Diet Action Overlooked In Federal Budget

Dietitians Australia is disappointed last night’s Federal Budget delivered no new funding directly targeted at improving the nutrition status of Australians and preventing the burden on the health system from diet-relatable preventable disease.

“Progressing our nutrition goals in this country has been left to lag another year,” President Tara Diversi said.

“This is hard to swallow when we know diet-related risk factors result in an estimated $16.2 billion in health system spending within a year.

“And at a time when Australians are consuming less than the recommended core food groups, including fruit, vegetables, grains, and cereals, and more foods high in sugar, salt, and fat.

Steps towards more affordable food for Australians

“All Australians deserve affordable access to nutritious food.

“We welcome the Government’s initiative to fund price comparison reports to allow people to choose where to source affordable food and grocery items.

“We will continue to push for a national nutrition monitoring and surveillance system, to ensure the Government is able to act on the full spectrum of food and nutrition issues in Australia.

“It is promising to see the continuation of funding for the Healthy Food Partnership, but we hope to see this group empower direct improvements to our food supply, including the introduction of mandatory reformulation targets.

No signs of strengthening dietitians’ involvement in primary health care

“Dietitians offer untapped potential when it comes to supporting Australians to reduce their risk of diet-related chronic diseases and to treat conditions such as mental health disorders and gastrointestinal disorders.

“Yet the opportunity to progress the involvement of dietitians and many other critical allied health professions in true multidisciplinary approaches to primary healthcare has been missed this budget.

“We welcome the announcement for wraparound care and coordination for people with high-needs mental health conditions through Primary Health Networks.

“This was a prime opportunity to also include dietitians in this model, with evidence mounting on the power of diet and nutrition when it comes to the prevention, treatment and management of mental health conditions.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Pricing Arrangement

“Dietitians Australia welcomes the $5.3 million funding for the establishment of an independent pricing authority for the NDIS.

“NDIS Participants deserve a fair and equitable price for their therapy supports and the providers of these supports must be able to deliver them in a way that is financially viable.

“We have been advocating that pricing for these supports be adjusted to accommodate CPI, and we look forward to seeing the work of the pricing data strategy on how this will be achieved.

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