Editorial - Friday, April 11: Diet advice? Fruitless

IN A community where diabetes and unhealthy weight issues are relatively high, it astounds me the lack of nutritional advice on hand in the Clarence Valley.

As a journalist I have tried for two weeks to get a dietitian or nutritionist to comment about a few stories I am working on - but tracking them down has proven a real struggle.

I consulted the NSW Department of Health, which knew of one dietitian in the area but could not get onto them.

I tried the Northern NSW Medicare Local team, who also could not provide me with a dietitian to speak to.

So if a journalist and the health bodies themselves cannot track down anyone locally, how is the rest of the community supposed to?

One of the key points raised in feedback from the Healthy Clarence Communities Project was the community wanted more nutritional advice - and I can totally see why.

How is the mindset and knowledge of a community supposed to improve if there is no one to turn to or seek advice from?

Sure there is Google, but even the most specific search brings up a squillion different blogs and articles about what is "healthy" and what isn't - so which advice do you listen to?

As far as I can see, some funding needs to be pumped into the Valley to supply at least one dietitian to the area so questions can be answered, knowledge expanded and as a community we can make wiser decisions when it comes to health.

Georja Ryan

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