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Nutrition and dietetics in a climate emergency presented by Liza Barbour, PhD, AdvAPD

Dietitians and nutritionists can play a significant role in addressing the climate emergency. Although this topic can be daunting, Liza inspires us with the hope that there is still time for meaningful change.

Learn about:

  • ‘One health’- a term that incorporates the health of us as people, the health of animals and the health of natural living systems. ‘One health’ recognises that people, animals and natural living systems are dependent and reliant on each other. To have ‘One health’, all three systems must be healthy.
  • Planetary health can be assessed using nine planetary boundaries. Liza describes how they relate to food, either directly or indirectly:
    1. Climate change
    2. Stratospheric ozone depletion
    3. Atmospheric aerosol loading
    4. Ocean acidification
    5. Biogeochemical flows
    6. Soil degradation
    7. Freshwater use
    8. Land-system change
    9. Biosphere integrity
  • How we can contribute to a more hopeful and resilient future and what motivates dietitians to work in this space.

Liza Barbour is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, where she teaches Public Health Nutrition and Food Sustainability Systems for nutrition science and dietetics students. Together with her colleague Dr Julia McCartan, Liza designed one of Australia's first undergraduate units on food sustainability systems for nutrition and dietetics students, which she continues to coordinate.

Liza is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian (AdvAPD) with practical experience in community and clinical dietetics, food service and public health nutrition. These roles have enabled her to work in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions of remote Western Australia, Alice Springs, the Kingdom of Tonga and Metropolitan Melbourne.  

Liza is an active member of Dietitian Australia's Food and Environment leadership committee and led the development of their first National position paper on Healthy and Sustainable Diets.

Liza's PhD explored the role of local government policy in promoting a population-wide shift to healthy and environmentally sustainable diets. She is leading an interdisciplinary project to create planetary health curriculum with educators and students from various health professions at Monash University.

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