Public Statements

Joint Position Statement: Addressing the Physical Health of People With Mental Illness

Mental health and physical health are fundamentally connected. A proportion of individuals experiencing mental illness will also experience poor physical health, and poor physical health can in turn be associated with poor mental health. Given the well-known relationship between physical and mental health, an increased focus on holistic multidisciplinary treatment can enhance quality of life, and improve the physical and mental health outcomes for individuals living with a mental health disorder.

We recently worked with Exercise & Sports Science Australia and the Australian Psychological Society to develop a Joint Position Statement Addressing the Physical Health of People With Mental Illness. The purpose of the joint position statement is to endorse dietary and exercise interventions that can provide a range of physical, social and mental health benefits to those living with a mental illness.

Marika Sboros series of blog posts

DAA is aware of a series of blog posts by Marika Sboros, starting on 23 January 2017. We provided responses to the many questions Ms Sboros (who is not based in Australia) asked of us over several months in 2016.

From the outset, her line of questioning indicated her blog would be critical of DAA.

We feel this is unfortunate, given that we are deeply passionate about our role as independent advisors on nutrition science and our ability to help Australians make positive changes towards better health.

We respect that everyone has a different point of view.

From our perspective:

  • We support the evidence-based Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG), which were developed by independent experts in nutrition, working with the National Health and Medical Research Council.
  • The ADG provide population-based guidance on what to eat for good health. Accredited Practising Dietitians work with individuals, using Medical Nutrition Therapy, to find a dietary approach that best suits them to achieve their nutrition and health goals.
  • We are confident that working with all sectors, including industry, is the right thing to do.

We are proud of the work our valued spokespeople do in communicating nutrition science to the Australian public. We also value responsible and balanced journalism.

DAA and DAA members (made up of thousands of committed and professional nutrition scientists) are passionate about inspiring and supporting Australians to eat better and be healthier. We will continue to put our efforts into making a positive difference, working collaboratively with others to do so.

60 Minutes interview

We were recently approached by 60 Minutes for an interview as part of a story on Peter FitzSimons’ weight loss journey. The 60 Minutes story coincided with the launch of Peter’s new book. We thank our Spokesperson, Nicole Dynan, who was interviewed by 60 Minutes. Through Nicole, we presented a balanced message to this story, highlighting the many factors involved in weight management. Read about our position on the coverage of Peter FitzSimons’ weight loss story by 60 Minutes.

Food Security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Policy

We recently worked with Public Health Association of Australia and Australian Red Cross, National Heart Foundation of Australia, Indigenous Allied Health Australia and Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation to develop a Joint Statement on Food Security and Background Paper. The purpose of the joint statement is to provide succinct data about the current situation in relation to food security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, and outline the action we and the PHAA will undertake to address the issues identified.

Dismissal of Ms Jennifer Elliott as a DAA member

We would like to present the facts of Ms Jennifer Elliott’s case and have sought legal advice prior to doing so. Please find details of the case below and an extract from the letter sent to Ms Elliott on 4 March 2015.

A joint complaint was made by a dietitian and a former patient against Ms Elliott in 2014. This included a signed release of medical records by the patient which we obtained. Based on these medical records and substantial amounts of other evidence, all of which were sighted by Ms Elliott, a hearing and investigation panel was convened. Ms Elliott declined to state her claim before a hearing and investigation panel constituted as required by the By-law, which included external representation. The decision of that panel was communicated to Ms Elliott and she was given leave to appeal which she made no attempt to do. We had no other alternative but to enforce the recommendations of the panel. The extract includes the specific reasons for expulsion, and it should be noted these DID NOT include use of a low carbohydrate diet.