The training of a specialised community and public health nutrition (CPHN) workforce assumes they are optimally placed to address food and nutrition issues at a population and community level. However, concomitant with the rise of diet as the leading risk factor contributing to the burden of disease in Australia, has been a dramatic disinvestment in this workforce
Permanent, full time nutritionist positions embedded in communities or population settings are few. If an organisation invests in a nutrition intervention it is increasingly implemented by generalist staff often on temporary appointments. This approach limits the extent to which nutrition issues can be effectively addressed. In addition, a professionally connected workforce has a greater capacity to collaborate and strategically act in a complementary way to enhance investment.
Research into this field will examine:
- global, nation and state workforce trends to better understand the community and public health nutrition workforce
- graduate outcomes for students of nutrition, as well as nutrition and dietetics
- the cost benefit of a specialised nutrition workforce in prevention
- develop a business case for investment in the community and public health nutrition workforce
- explore opportunities to grow the diversity of the community and public health nutrition workforce.
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