Influencing nutrition policy in Australia

apples image by Pexels from Pixabay

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 06 August 2019


Seminar Room 1.04 Coombs Extension Building #8 ANU
ANU Canberra


Dr Katherine Cullerton


School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

Dietary risk factors are the number one contributor to the burden of disease in Australia. Multiple studies have shown that regulatory and legislative reforms are the most cost-effective policy option for addressing poor nutritional status for populations as they modify the social, economic and physical environments in which consumers make dietary choices. Despite this, the Australian Government has not committed to any regulatory or legislative nutrition reforms in the past decade. This lack of political will may be due to a number of different factors. Influencing public policy change can be difficult and complex, particularly for advocates with limited power and resources. One of the key difficulties for advocates is that the development of public policy is rarely a linear process. It is constructed through complex interactions and negotiations amongst a range of stakeholders, including politicians, interest groups, advisers, bureaucrats, and a range of other actors. Many factors impact on the likelihood of policy change occurring. During this seminar Katherine will outline her research to date exploring the power of interest groups and their influence on public health nutrition policy in Australia. She will also outline the barriers advocates face and the enablers they can use to influence public and political will as well as future steps in this body of research.

About the speaker

Dr Katherine Cullerton is a Research Fellow in the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Katherine brings a diverse background to her research. She is a qualified dietitian and has worked in a range of countries and settings including with Aboriginal communities, schools, in health promotion, tobacco control and as a national policy officer. Her research focuses on increasing the agency of advocates to effectively influence public health nutrition policy and exploring whether it is ever acceptable for nutrition researchers to engage with the food industry.

Photo: Apples image by Pexels via Pixabay, Pixabay licence

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet