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Behind the scenes: where we get our information about healthy eating

Friday 10 March 2017

An array of cut fruits laid out on a blue table.
Getting accurate, scientifically proven information is key to making informed decisions about healthy eating.

There’s a lot of information out there about how and what to eat. Every week a new ‘superfood’ is shared on social media, a new fad diet discussed on talk shows and a new ‘silent killer’ outed in magazines.

So how do you know what to believe and where to turn for correct information?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines

At Queensland Health, we base our advice and information about healthy eating on the Australian Dietary Guidelines (the Guidelines).

What are the Guidelines?

The Guidelines provide recommendations about healthy eating, produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). They’re free and available to everyone: you can download the full guidelines online.  

The Australian Dietary Guidelines apply to all healthy Australians, as well as those with common health conditions such as being overweight. They do not apply to people who need special dietary advice for a medical condition, or to the frail elderly.

Why should I trust the information in the Guidelines?

The Guidelines were revised by the NHMRC in 2013, with advice from experts who sat on the Dietary Guidelines Working Committee. Dedicated to providing dietary advice for Australians based on the best available scientific evidence, during this process over 55,000 pieces of peer-reviewed published scientific research were reviewed to create the Guidelines.

This means that for every recommendation in the guidelines, there are multiple pieces of evidence to back up that the information used to ensure it is accurate and thoroughly tested. Unlike theories you might read online or advice given by a friend or family member, the evidence to support the guidelines is based on the latest body of scientific evidence on nutrition, diet and health.

While different people will have specific needs in their diet, the Guidelines are an accurate, methodically researched resource about healthy eating for the general population.  

Where can I get more information on healthy eating?

You can visit the Australian Government’s Eat For Health website for more information on the Guidelines, including a visual guide and tips for eating well.

Our Healthier. Happier. website has information to help you understand how to eat well and get enough exercise. You can find out how many kilojoules you should eat every day, try our healthy recipes and have a go at our workout routines.

Get Healthy is a free telephone based information and coaching program for Queenslanders aged 16 years and older designed to help them start their journey towards healthier living. You can  get one-time information and resources or take part in a 6 month program of ongoing, personalised coaching sessions with a professional health coach – it’s free so jump online and make the most of it today.

Before you make any drastic changes to your diet, like cutting out a food group or upping your intake of one type of food, talk to a health professional about your plans. A dietician can advise you about making specific changes to your diet, working with you to create a plan that works for your body’s needs.

Last updated: 23 August 2017