Academic journal article Australian Health Review

Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice Lawrence M, Worsley T (Eds)

Academic journal article Australian Health Review

Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice Lawrence M, Worsley T (Eds)

Article excerpt

Public health nutrition: from principles to practice Lawrence M, Worsley T (eds) Allen & Unwin, 2007 ISBN: 978 1 74175 102 4. RRP: $69.95. 492 pages.

THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT text on public health nutrition, led by Australian public health nutritionists and including contributions by a number of international experts. The editors, Mark Lawrence and Tony Worsley, are professors of nutrition at Deakin University, and their contributors are academics, largely from the Australian Public Health Nutrition Academic Consortium but also from Europe, New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom and South Africa. The foreword statement by Professor Basil Hetzel arguing that this book breaks new ground for the 21st century is certainly true, as substantial challenges await public health nutrition scientists. Epidemics of obesity, as well as micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition, are now recognised political and economic issues, as well as health ones.

The book is set out in four sections covering principles, populations, priorities and practices, and the public health focus embraces eco-nutrition and sustainability, as well as the more traditional concepts of nutritional deficiency, nutrition standards and dietary guideline principles.

In principles, the editors together with Mark Wahlqvist cover the guiding principles of public health nutrition, including emerging research, new knowledge and the change in focus of dietary guidelines and nutrition standards. Unfortunately, a thorough analysis of the differences in government legislation and policy affecting food standards is missing from this section, as well as the recent inclusion of Specific Dietary Targets (SDT) for the prevention of chronic disease.

The section on populations covers the nutrition issues facing different life-stage groups such as children and adolescents, mothers and infants and older adults. The section on priorities covers economically, geographically and socially disadvantaged groups, indigenous communities, obesity prevention, international nutrition and global developments in the food system. Practices include monitoring the food and nutrition situation of populations, physical activity, research skills, professional practice, project management, promotion and communication, policy and politics.

Some sections are excellent, particularly those on children and adolescents, the political debate about obesity, dealing with indigenous communities, and international health. …

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