A textbook penned by academics at the University of Wollongong is poised to replace British and American sources for thousands of Australian health and nutrition students.
Food, Nutrition and Health is the culmination of 18 months’ work by University of Wollongong nutrition expert Linda Tapsell and 17 UOW contributors.
At the book’s launch event yesterday, Professor Tapsell told the Mercury she was approached by the prestigious Oxford University Press to create a source for Australian students.
‘‘We didn’t have an Australian textbook – they tend to come from America and the UK,’’ she said.
Prof Tapsell said she wrote the book – and edited and collated the work of contributors – with the view of countering areas of confusion in the nutrition field.
‘‘Knowledge in food and nutrition has been rapidly expanding, driven in particular by rapid scientific advances.
‘‘Health practitioners need to bring this knowledge together in a way that is meaningful and can be shown to have an impact on health. It is particularly critical in nutrition, because eating food is so fundamental to survive.’’
Industry supporters, including high-profile nutritionist Rosemary Stanton, attended yesterday’s launch.
Dr Stanton said the nutrition field had fallen prey to many myths – many propagated by food companies with a commercial interest.
‘‘We have now the coconut myth that’s going around,’’ she said.
‘‘It might not be as bad as we initially thought, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. We need to look at the whole food, rather than pulling a bit of it out and [claiming its health benefits].
‘‘When you get any information, look to see if somebody has a product to sell, and if they’ve got a product to sell, look a little bit further.
‘‘Australia has a great food supply. The problem is that about 35-36per cent of an adult’s calories come from junk food, and for kids it’s even higher.’’