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Calling for the rise of dietitians following the fall of Pete Evans

Dietetics, The Health Industry

If News Limited website is anything to go by, the tide is turning against Pete Evans. Fast.

Their story published in October 2014 painted the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), who advocate against the paleo diet, as an organisation aligned with multinational processed food corporations that “litter the supermarket shelves with so-called healthy foods.”

However, this week News Limited are reporting that Pete Evans is at risk of being dumped by Channel 7 following the Bubba Yum Yum controversy. Last week the cookbook for babies was dumped by book publisher Pan MacMillan, so is it really that big a stretch that a television network would dump him too?

I think not.

So let’s just look at the latest News Limited story in more detail.  Rather than trying to ruin the credibility of organisations such as DAA, they are now reporting on the concerns of doctors, the British Dietitian Association and the World Health Organisation about the paleo diet. They are talking about the Pete Evans’ Facebook fans as people who are sharing “miracle testimonies” who have “healed themselves through food.” Hmmmm… sounds like News Limited journalists have realized the dangers of the “miracle paleo diet” and have been struck down by a case of common sense brought on by… evidence!

The question is, how can dietitians now play a role in making common sense around nutrition an epidemic?

In my opinion, Pete Evans has created the perfect platform for Australians to start listening to dietitians. There has never been a better time for dietitians to share their message. I think that right now Australians are more likely to be receptive to what you have to say!!

It’s time for the #riseofdietitians.

It now becomes about packaging an evidence based approach and common sense around in nutrition in a way that makes it sexy.

And no, I’m not talking about the Miranda Kerr or Brad Pitt brand of “sexy.” It’s more about making it cool to be healthy. How can we make eating according to the Australian Dietary Guidelines sexy? But yes, okay, perhaps a little bit cheekiness like #getyourmaninthekitchen could do well.

Give it some personality!! A consistent message. A brand. As a dietitian, do people really know what you stand for? Or do they think you’re going to tell them “you can’t eat this and you can’t eat that?”

I came across this tweet this week and couldn’t agree more!

After following many of dietitians on Twitter, I think there are enough of you who are foodies, into cooking and community gardening to really get out there and make a difference. And what about having a dietitian playing a part on a cooking show like My Kitchen Rules or MasterChef Australia? Does someone want to put themself out there and pitch to be a judge?

And from the number of dietitians who have been #blockedbypete and who responded via Twitter following the Catalyst episode on the High Fat Low Carb diet, there are enough dietitians out there who are committed to setting the record straight when it comes to proper nutrition.

Featured as a speaker at a Brisbane based Dietitian Day conference run by Dietitian Connection, Dr Rosemary Stanton said that dietitians need to be spreaders, not guardians of the message about an approach to nutrition based on scientific evidence. She talked about the need for dietitians to be ready to take on critics and celebrities in the media when necessary, and gave tips on being media savvy.

Ironically, Bubba Yum Yum was due to be released on Friday 13th March, when qualified nutrition experts around the world were celebrating Dietitian Day.

So I beg you, dietitians of Australia. Please, please don’t let this opportunity pass you by. It’s been handed to you on a platter.

Amanda Griffiths
Founder My Health Career

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