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Australian Dietary Guidelines review scoping survey

The review of the Australian Dietary Guidelines is underway, with an initial scoping survey currently seeking input into what should change and what is missing from the current guidelines. Responses are invited from everyone who uses the guidelines whether professionally or personally, so this is an excellent early opportunity to submit your suggestions.

Scoping survey open now

Following on from the 2020 announcement that the Australian Dietary Guidelines are up for review, an initial stakeholder scoping survey is now open, seeking input on how the current guidelines are used and inviting suggestions for topics for consideration in the review.

The current scoping stage is a valuable first chance to suggest high-level topics for the review, with the survey providing space to suggest up to four topics to update and four to consider for inclusion.

The headline topics that DFN is flagging at this scoping stage are as follows:

Australian Dietary Guidelines

To update

  • Update the ‘lean meat and alternatives’ food group to recommend plant sources of protein in preference to animal sources
  • Remove red meat entirely from the current ‘lean meat and alternatives’ food group
  • Remove milk yoghurt/cheese and alternatives as a standalone food group
  • Provide clarity about the health benefits of carbohydrates and starches from whole food sources, in the face of dangerous ‘high fat low carb’ diet trends

To include

  • Place a stronger emphasis on the health benefits of plant-based eating patterns
  • Integrate environmental sustainability considerations into the guidelines, highlighting the co-benefits of plant-based diets for both human and planetary health
  • Proceed with caution on dietary cholesterol due to evidence on its health risks, especially among hyper-responders
  • Ensure the new guidelines recognise the proven affordability of plant-predominant diets in comparison to standard Australian diets

Have your say

The survey is open to everyone who uses the ADGs, whether as a health professional or on an individual basis to inform their eating, so is an excellent opportunity for our plant-based health community to share our views.

For full details about what is in and out of scope for the survey, see

Next steps

Responses to the scoping survey will be collated and published on the NHMRC website in the second half of 2021.

  • The next major opportunities for input during the review are anticipated to be:
  • The call for supporting evidence on finalised review topics – expected in the final quarter 2021
  • Further targeted and public consultation – currently expected in the second quarter 2023

DFN is preparing to have involvement at both of these stages and throughout the process, to champion the importance of whole food plant-based diets for the health of all Australians and to safeguard planetary health into the future.

If you are interested in helping our work to inform the review of the Australian Dietary Guidelines, please get in touch via our contact form.

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