Equipping the future dietetic workforce to take bold, urgent action on planetary health

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The World Health Organisation identified climate change as the biggest threat to 21st century global health. Health professionals play a vital role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Food systems contribute to climate change, accounting for over a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Dietitians are well-positioned to address complex food system challenges however require evidence-based curriculum in this emerging area of health professional practice. An audit conducted in 2016 revealed four out of 19 (21%) of Australian accredited dietetics degrees included curricula that addressed food systems, environmental sustainability and/or climate change.

We aim to examine (i) existing curriculum opportunities for dietetics students in Australia to learn about food systems, environmental sustainability and/or climate change, (ii) approaches used to assess these learning and teaching activities, and (iii) changes to the tertiary landscape from 2016 to 2023. Our currently inprogress research includes both a content analysis of Australian accredited dietetics degree websites, and an online survey for dietetics educators to describe their programs of assessment.

Each unit offered within dietetics degrees was screened for eligibility using standardised search terms. Preliminary results, where 531 units from 19 eligible dietetic degrees were screened, identified 39 eligible units represented across all degrees (100%). Bloom’s taxonomy and Miller’s Pyramid educational theories
will be used to analyse learning outcome and assessment task descriptions.

Ideas for further discussion:
Since 2016, tertiary offerings for dietetic students in Australia have evolved to consider contemporary challenges related to climate change. This coincides with an evolution in the National Competency Standards
for Dietitians which now include more performance criteria regarding environmental sustainability. However, dietetic (and all health professions) educators must be supported to prioritise high quality, fit-for-purpose
planetary health education to equip the future workforce to address this major threat to global health.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
EventAustralian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Conference 2023 - Gold Coast Convention Centre, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 26 Jun 202329 Jun 2023


ConferenceAustralian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleANZAHPE 2023
CityGold Coast
OtherTurning Tides: Navigating the Opportunities
Internet address

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