15 September 2021

Experts to review the Australian Dietary Guidelines 

The review of the Australian Dietary Guidelines will be overseen by a team of experts announced today by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The Dietary Guidelines Expert Committee announced today includes members with expertise in evidence translation, epidemiology, research methodology, nutrition across the life cycle, nutrition communication, food and health relationships, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. 

The Expert Committee will be chaired by Professor Sarah McNaughton, a nutritional epidemiologist in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University and Deputy Director of the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN).

Professor McNaughton is a member of the World Health Organisation Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group Subcommittee on Diet and Health. She has held research fellowships from the NHMRC, Heart Foundation and Australian Research Council. 

The Expert Committee will draw on the best available scientific evidence to prepare the new Guidelines. The Committee will prioritise topics for review based on developments in nutritional science and increased understanding of the factors that influence the health of Australians. It will provide advice to NHMRC on the formulation of the research questions, provide expertise to support the independent evidence reviewers and advise on the revised Guidelines. 

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said the Australian Dietary Guidelines are an important public resource to support the community to make healthy food choices, as well as a trusted resource for health professionals, policy makers, educators and industry. 

“As our knowledge advances, we need to ensure the Guidelines reflect the latest high-quality scientific evidence,” Professor Kelso said.

“We are excited to announce the Expert Committee advising on the review. The committee members bring the right mix of expertise in applying scientific evidence to advise on the wide range of topics for review.

“With updated recommendations based on the best evidence, we will then want to see that the new Australian Dietary Guidelines are widely adopted to help Australians live well for longer.”

NHMRC has identified opportunities for stakeholders, including consumer groups, health professionals, policy makers, educators and industry, to contribute later in the review process. Their feedback will help ensure the revised guidelines are easy to understand and adopt and are well communicated to Australia’s diverse communities.

In accordance with existing NHMRC policy and practice, all candidates for the Australian Dietary Guidelines Expert Committee were required to declare their interests, which were assessed by the Dietary Guidelines Governance Committee.

The Governance Committee is chaired by leading international expert in conflicts of interest Professor Lisa Bero and will continue to advise NHMRC throughout the review. Professor Bero is Chief Scientist of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and has previously provided advice on NHMRC’s Guidelines for Guidelines. 

Professor Bero said independent advice on the management of interests and minimising potential bias will support a transparent review process and increase stakeholder trust in the updated Guidelines.

“We know that when guidelines are considered trustworthy, they’re much more likely to be followed,” Professor Bero said.

Find out more about the review of the Australian Dietary Guidelines

NHMRC Media Team
M: 0422 008 512
E: media@nhmrc.gov.au