The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its resulting disease, COVID-19 emerged in late 2019 and by March 2020 had spread to 6 continents, touching almost every country on the globe. The pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge for our times, as the impacts of the virus itself and the resulting socio-economic disruptions are felt around the world.
Doctors For Nutrition extends compassion to all those who are affected both directly and indirectly by the wide-reaching impacts of the pandemic, and stands in solidarity with our healthcare colleagues both in our region and beyond.
This page will be reviewed and kept updated regularly. As always, we’ll also be communicating via social media and email. Please do stay connected with us through these channels.
Latest official information and updates
The following links are our recommended sources for authoritative information about COVID-19.
For health professionals
Also refer to your state or territory health department, professional peak body or college for further specific guidance. Popular quick links:
Also refer to your professional peak body or college for further specific guidance. Popular quick links:
WHO and UN updates (as above)
The International Association of National Public Health Institutes has also gathered publicly available resources, links and documents for public health professionals globally.
From the earliest days of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen that chronic diet-related conditions such as insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, obesity, poor immune function and chronic inflammation are all risk factors for the most serious outcomes of infection.
With our focus on bringing food back to healthcare, we are working as hard as ever to elevate the importance of healthy lifestyle approaches, and plant-based diets in particular, as a proven means to address these conditions. This includes advocating for a healthy recovery that includes nutrition as a central pillar of our public health response, as well as continuing to empower healthcare practitioners and individuals with the evidence on the efficacy of a whole food plant-based dietary lifestyle.
Please see further resources on nutrition and COVID-19 below, both from the DFN team and curated from other experts and commentators.
Our daily operations
As our charity staff members are a small dispersed team working remotely, our day-to-day operations are continuing as normal and we are not anticipating any disruptions to our projects and services, except in relation to in-person meetings and events. These are being kept under review and where possible proceeding via teleconferencing rather than face to face.
Nutrition in Healthcare Conference
In light of foreseeable disruptions to travel and the numerous medical conferences being rescheduled to 2021, we have postponed the next Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference to 18-20 February 2022.
Resources on nutrition and COVID-19
From the DFN team
Open letter to G20 leaders in support of a #HealthyRecovery from COVID-19, promoted by the Global Climate and Health Alliance, May 2020 [website]
Can nutrition and lifestyle improve your resistance to COVID-19? by GP Resources Advisor, Dr Malcolm Mackay and Lead Research Advisor, nutritionist Jenny Cameron (web page, published May 2020)
Food Choices and the Pandemics: Revenge of the Bat-Man? by our International Advisory Council member, Kim Williams MD, with co-authors Mashaal Ikram MD and Waddah Malas MD (journal article, April 2020)
Vegetarian-Based Dietary Patterns and their Relation with Inflammatory and Immune Biomarkers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by NSW Lead Dietitian, Joel Craddock APD (journal article published April 2019 and featured in themed collection on Nutrition and Immune Support, May 2020)
Emotional wellbeing resources:
Doctor shares the health advice he gives to every COVID-19 patient – opinion piece by US physician Dr Ron Weiss in Today (published May 2020)
Smart Immunity Handbook by the Food Revolution Network (published April 2020)
Note, if you missed the 2020 Food Revolution Summit, which included talks on nutrition and COVID-19 by Dr Michael Klaper, Dr David Katz and Dr Matt McCarthy, you can access the talks free on demand here.
Healthy food: The unexpected medicine for COVID-19 and national security – opinion piece by US Dr Casey Means in The Hill (21 April 2020)
How to Survive a Pandemic book
How to Survive a Pandemic by Michael Greger, M.D., FACLMA, New York Times bestselling author of How Not to Die, available as a book, e-book and audiobook.