Nutrition and Dietetics - Collected Works

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    Parent Feeding Practices in the Australian Indigenous Population within the Context of non-Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Populations in Other High-Income Countries—A Scoping Review
    (Oxford University Press, 2019-01) Rohit, Athira; Tonkin, Emma; Maple-Brown, Louise J; Golley, Rebecca Kirsty; McCarthy, Mary; Brimblecombe, Julie
    Although extensive literature on parent feeding practices among the general Australian population exists, Australian Indigenous populations are generally overlooked. A systematic scoping review was carried out to map any source of literature showing Indigenous parent feeding practices in Australia in the context of what is known about parent feeding practices among broader Australian populations and Indigenous populations in other high-income countries. A search of 8 electronic health databases was conducted. Inclusion criteria were children aged <12 y and reporting ≥1 child outcome related to childhood overweight and/or obesity, body mass index, dietary intake, or eating behavior in the context of parent feeding practices. Studies were grouped according to Indigenous status of the population for data extraction and synthesis. A total of 79 studies were identified; 80% (n = 65) were conducted among the general Australian population and <20% (n = 14) focused on Indigenous populations. Although a wide range of feeding practices were identified among the general Australian population, Indigenous practices most closely aligned with highly responsive and permissive parenting dimensions. The highly valued child autonomy in Indigenous parenting is sometimes criticized by researchers when viewed through a Western lens because the child has agency in deciding what and when to eat. Evidence-based understanding and knowledge of Indigenous parent feeding practices in Australia are limited. Indigenous worldviews are expressed distinctly differently than the general Western worldview in parent feeding practices. How worldviews are represented in parent-child relationships is important to consider for the way in which research with Indigenous populations is conducted and the evidence it generates to inform policy and practice.
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    Development of a short‐item diet quality questionnaire for Indigenous mothers and their young children: The Menzies remote short‐item dietary assessment tool
    (WIley, 2018-04-19) Rohit, Athira; Brimblecombe, Julie; O'Dea, Kerin; Tonkin, Emma; Maypilama, Lawurrpa; Maple-Brown, Louise J
    The importance of a healthy diet in facilitating optimal childhood development and preventing chronic disease cannot be overstated. Despite this, unhealthy food patterns frequently occur as early as 9 months of age and continue through childhood. Australian Bureau of Statistics data indicate Indigenous Australian children to have particularly concerning dietary patterns, with children aged 2–3 years three times more likely to consume carbonated sugary drinks than their non‐Indigenous counterparts (18% versus 5.8%, respectively).1 Early intervention to prevent or improve obesity‐related behaviours can have a positive impact. The ability to improve dietary outcomes depends primarily on an accurate assessment of dietary intake. Data reliability and compliance issues common in dietary assessment are exacerbated when working with Indigenous Australians living remotely due to existing tools using inappropriate language, being resource‐intensive and not incorporating culturally diverse foods and serving methods. The aim of this research was to develop a short‐item questionnaire to assess the dietary quality of mothers and their young children (2–4 years) in the remote Indigenous community (RIC) setting for the Pregnancy and Adverse Neonatal Diabetes Outcomes in Remote Australia (PANDORA) longitudinal birth cohort study.2 PANDORA participants are Northern Territory women (both Indigenous and non‐Indigenous) with and without diabetes during pregnancy and their babies.
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    Characteristics of Smartphone Applications for Nutrition Improvement in Community Settings: A Scoping Review
    (Oxford University Press, 2017-03-10) Tonkin, Emma; Brimblecombe, Julie; Wycherley, Thomas Philip
    Smartphone applications are increasingly being used to support nutrition improvement in community settings. However, there is a scarcity of practical literature to support researchers and practitioners in choosing or developing health applications. This work maps the features, key content, theoretical approaches, and methods of consumer testing of applications intended for nutrition improvement in community settings. A systematic, scoping review methodology was used to map published, peer-reviewed literature reporting on applications with a specific nutrition-improvement focus intended for use in the community setting. After screening, articles were grouped into 4 categories: dietary self-monitoring trials, nutrition improvement trials, application description articles, and qualitative application development studies. For mapping, studies were also grouped into categories based on the target population and aim of the application or program. Of the 4818 titles identified from the database search, 64 articles were included. The broad categories of features found to be included in applications generally corresponded to different behavior change support strategies common to many classic behavioral change models. Key content of applications generally focused on food composition, with tailored feedback most commonly used to deliver educational content. Consumer testing before application deployment was reported in just over half of the studies. Collaboration between practitioners and application developers promotes an appropriate balance of evidence-based content and functionality. This work provides a unique resource for program development teams and practitioners seeking to use an application for nutrition improvement in community settings.
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    Consumer Trust
    (Sage, 2015) Coveney, John David; Henderson, Julie Anne; Meyer, Samantha B; Mamerow, Loreen; Taylor, Anne; Ward, Paul Russell; Wilson, Annabelle
    In the past two decades, food industries in developed countries have experienced increasing numbers of food scares that have resulted in increased consumer concerns about the safety of food. Concerns about the safety and quality of food have become one of the most prominent issues about food. Media coverage of incidents around food safety and the increased attention to food scares internationally (e.g., bovine spongiform encephalopathy, genetic modification, pesticides, Salmonella, Listeria) have raised public concerns around food safety. As a result of food scares and food safety issues, as well as resulting media stories, there has been a decline in trust in the food supply and production. This decline in trust has led to decreased demands in the foods in question and the purchase of foods from associated companies. For example, within Western Europe, there has been a growing public unease about the health and safety of modern food production. Food-related scares have dominated the news media and have led to the erosion of public trust as well as increasing consumer confusion about food safety and diet issues. In addition, the increase in information from the media regarding what to eat, and where to eat, differs according to the “expert” in question. The results have been a decline in the authority of experts generally. This entry examines the conceptualization and scope of trust in food. The entry begins with a look at reasons for the decline in consumers’ trust in the quality and safety of the food they eat.
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    The Relative Validity of the Menzies Remote Short-Item Dietary Assessment Tool (MRSDAT) in Aboriginal Australian Children Aged 6–36 Months
    (MDPI, 2018-05-10) Tonkin, Emma; Kennedy, Dani; Golley, Rebecca Kirsty; Byrne, Rebecca; Rohit, Athira; Kearns, Therese; Hanieh, Sarah; Biggs, Beverley-Ann; Brimblecombe, Julie
    The Menzies Remote Short-item Dietary Assessment Tool (MRSDAT) can be used to derive a dietary index score, which measures the degree of compliance with the Australian Dietary Guidelines. This study aimed to determine the relative validity of a dietary index score for children aged 6–24 months, living in a Remote Aboriginal Community (RAC), derived using MRSDAT. This validation study compared dietary index scores derived using MRSDAT with those derived from the average of three 24-h recalls. Participants were aged 6–36 months at the first dietary assessment and were living in a RAC. The level of agreement between the two methods was explored using Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient (CCC), Bland-Altman plots, weighted Cohen’s kappa, and Fischer’s exact and paired t-tests. Forty participants were recruited. The CCC was poor between methods (R = 0.35, 95% CI 0.06, 0.58), with MRSDAT estimating higher dietary intake scores for all food groups except fruit, and higher dietary quality scores by an average of 4.78 points/100. Community-based Aboriginal researchers were central to this validation study. MRSDAT was within the performance range of other short-item dietary assessment tools developed for young children, and shows promise for use with very young children in RACs. View Full-Text
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    A Smartphone App to Reduce Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among Young Adults in Australian Remote Indigenous Communities: Design, Formative Evaluation and User-Testing
    (JMIR Publications, 2017-12-12) Tonkin, Emma; Jeffs, Lauren; Wycherley, Thomas Philip; Maher, Carol; Smith, Ross Travers; Hart, Ross; Cubillo, Beau; Brimblecombe, Julie
    Background: The disproportionate burden of noncommunicable disease among Indigenous Australians living in remote Indigenous communities (RICs) is a complex and persistent problem. Smartphones are increasingly being used by young Indigenous adults and therefore represent a promising method to engage them in programs seeking to improve nutritional intake. Objective: This study aimed to consult RIC members to inform the content of a smartphone app that can be used to monitor and reduce sugar-sweetened beverage intake in RICs. Methods: The study was conducted in two phases. The formative phase involved a simulated grocery selection activity with think aloud (“think aloud shop”), a semistructured interview, a questionnaire outlining current smartphone and app use, and a paper prototyping activity. A preliminary end-user testing phase involved a think aloud prototype test and a semistructured interview regarding user satisfaction. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 20 18- to 35-year-old smartphone users for each phase from two RICs in the Northern Territory, Australia. Thematic analysis of transcribed audio recordings was used to identify determinants of food choice from the think aloud shop; themes related to the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) from the eating behaviors interview; and usability, comprehension, and satisfaction with the app from the preliminary end-user testing. Results: Smartphone use in RICs is currently different to that found in urban environments; in particular, extremely low use of Facebook, restricted variety of phone types, and limited Internet access. Findings regarding promoting app engagement indicate that utilizing an opt-in approach to social features such as leader boards and team challenges is essential. The inclusion of games was also shown to be important for satisfaction, as were the use of audio features, contextually embedded dissemination, and streamlined app design for comprehension in this target group. Conclusions: This research provides critical insights and concrete recommendations for the development of lifestyle improvement apps targeted toward disadvantaged young adults in nonurban settings, specifically RICs. It serves as a framework for future app development projects using a consultative user-centered design approach, supporting calls for the increased use of this strategy in app development.
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    Protein Intake and Growth in Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review
    (Sage, 2014-10-15) Tonkin, Emma; Collins, Carmel T; Miller, Jacqueline
    Objective. This review aimed to investigate the relationship between varying levels of enteral protein intake and growth in preterm infants, regardless of feeding method. Data Sources. Electronic databases were searched for relevant studies, as were review articles, reference lists, and text books. Study Selection. Trials were included if they were randomized or quasirandomized, participants were <37 weeks gestation at birth, and protein intakes were intentionally or statistically different between study groups. Trials reporting weight, length, and head circumference gains in infants fed formula, human milk, or fortified human milk were included. Data Extraction. Studies were categorized by feeding-type and relevant data were extracted into summary tables by one reviewer and cross-checked by a second. Data Synthesis. A meta-analysis could not be conducted due to extensive variability among studies; thus, results were synthesized graphically and narratively. Twenty-four trials met the inclusion criteria and were included in a narrative synthesis and 19 in a graphical synthesis of study results. Conclusions. There was extensive variability in study design, participant characteristics, and study quality. Nonetheless, results are fairly consistent that higher protein intake results in increased growth with graphical representation indicating a potentially linear relationship. Additionally, intakes as high as 4.5 g/kg/day were shown to be safe in infants weighing >1000 g.
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    Cross-country comparison of strategies for building consumer trust in food
    (Oxford University Press, 2019-04-09) Wilson, Annabelle; Tonkin, Emma; Coveney, John David; Meyer, Samantha B; McCullum, Dean; Calnan, Michael; Kelly, Edel; O'Reilly, Seamus; McCarthy, Mary; McGloin, Aileen; Ward, Paul Russell
    Consumer trust in the modern food system is essential given its complexity. Contexts vary across countries with regard to food incidents, regulation and systems. It is therefore of interest to compare how key actors in different countries might approach (re)building consumer trust in the food system; and particularly relevant to understanding how food systems in different regions might learn from one another. The purpose of this paper is to explore differences between strategies for (re)building trust in food systems, as identified in two separate empirical studies, one conducted in Australia, New Zealand and the UK (Study 1) and another on the Island of Ireland (Study 2). Interviews were conducted with media, food industry and food regulatory actors across the two studies (n = 105 Study 1; n = 50 Study 2). Data were coded into strategy statements, strategies describing actions to (re)build consumer trust. Strategy statements were compared between Studies 1 and 2 and similarities and differences were noted. The strategy statements identified in Study 1 to (re)build consumer trust in the food system were shown to be applicable in Study 2, however, there were notable differences in the contextual factors that shaped the means by which strategies were implemented. As such, the transfer of such approaches across regions is not an appropriate means to addressing breaches in consumer trust. Notwithstanding, our data suggest that there is still capacity to learn between countries when considering strategies for (re)building trust in the food system but caution must be exercised in the transfer of approaches.
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    The role of community and professional engagement in teaching allied health higher education: the academic perspective
    (Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, 2018-07-26) Roberts, Rachel Margaret; Wilson, Annabelle; Coveney, John David; Lind, Christopher; Tieman, Jennifer; George, Stacey; Gill, Robyn; Tonkin, Emma
    Community and professional engagement describes a collaborative model of interaction between institutions of higher education and the communities in which they operate. This qualitative study aimed to examine how professional and community engagement is understood and incorporated into the role of staff members within the School of Health Sciences of one university. Twenty-one academic and professional staff were interviewed. Participants identified a range of definitions for both 'community' and 'professional' engagement, as well as the benefits and limitations of such engagement. Ability to conduct engagement was limited by time capacity when competing with other role requirements. Integration of community engagement with research and teaching requires development of a framework that addresses both the common barriers and facilitators to engagement.
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    Addressing Uncomfortable Issues: Reflexivity as a Tool for Culturally Safe Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
    (Cambridge University Press, 2014-11-10) Wilson, Annabelle
    It is well recognised that research with Aboriginal communities needs to be ethical, meaningful and useful, in a way that is defined by communities themselves. This article provides an example of how reflexivity, from a number of positions and paradigms, can be used to undertake such research. I used a reflexive journal to document and critically assess the challenges and discomfort I experienced while undertaking research with Aboriginal communities, including uncertainty and feeling in the minority. Reflexivity allowed me to experience a number of key learnings, including: the importance of relationships; the importance of time, transparency and trust in relationships; reciprocity; the importance of listening; a partnership approach; and the impact of Aboriginal culture and past experience. The way in which I redefined my success as a researcher is also explored. In using reflexivity I reached new levels of understanding about myself, which enabled me to alter my practice and therefore change the experiences of those I was working with, ideally towards experiences that were perceived as culturally safe. Using reflexivity also enabled me to identify my position as a White researcher and centralise the needs and perspectives of Aboriginal people in my research. The purpose of this article is to present my own journey, as well as start a dialogue and provide a framework for how others might use reflexivity to become a culturally safe health professional or researcher and centralise the needs and perspectives of Aboriginal people in research and practice.
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    A model for (re)building consumer trust in the food system
    (Oxford University Press, 2016-04-12) Wilson, Annabelle; Withall, Elizabeth; Coveney, John David; Meyer, Samantha B; Henderson, Julie Anne; McCullum, Dean; Webb, Trevor; Ward, Paul Russell
    The article presents a best practice model that can be utilized by food system actors to assist with (re)building trust in the food system, before, during and after a food incident defined as ‘any situation within the food supply chain where there is a risk or potential risk of illness or confirmed illness or injury associated with the consumption of a food or foods’ (Commonwealth of Australia. National Food Incident Response Protocol. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2012). Interviews were undertaken with 105 actors working within the media, food industry and food regulatory settings across Australia, New Zealand (NZ) and the United Kingdom (UK). Interview data produced strategy statements, which indicated participant views on how to (re)build consumer trust in the food system. These included: (i) be transparent, (ii) have protocols and procedures in place, (iii) be credible, (iv) be proactive, (v) put consumers first, (vi) collaborate with stakeholders, (vii) be consistent, (viii) educate stakeholders and consumers, (ix) build your reputation and (x) keep your promises. A survey was designed to enable participants to indicate their agreement/disagreement with the ideas, rate their importance and provide further comment. The five strategies considered key to (re)building consumer trust were used to develop a model demonstrating best practice strategies for (re)building consumer trust in the food system before, during and after a food incident. In a world where the food system is increasingly complex, strategies for (re)building and fostering consumer trust are important. This study offers a model to do so which is derived from the views and experiences of actors working across the food industry, food regulation and the media.
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    Review of Indigenous Health Curriculum in Nutrition and Dietetics at One Australian University: An Action Research Study
    (Cambridge University Press, 2015-05-20) Wilson, Annabelle; Mehta, Kaye Phillips; Miller, Jacqueline; Yaxley, Alison; Thomas, Jolene Marie; Jackson, Kathryn; Wray, Amanda; Miller, Michelle Deanne
    This article describes a review undertaken in 2012–2013 by Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University, to assess the Indigenous health curriculum of the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (BND) and Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics (MND). An action research framework was used to guide and inform inquiry. This involved four stages, each of which provided information to reach a final decision about how to progress forward. First, relevant information was collected to present to stakeholders. This included identification of acknowledged curriculum frameworks, a review of other accredited nutrition and dietetics courses in Australia, a review of Indigenous health topics at Flinders University, including liaison with the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Well-Being (Indigenous health teaching and research unit), and a review of BND and MND current curriculum related to Indigenous health. Second, input was sought from stakeholders. This involved a workshop with practising dietitians and nutritionists from South Australia and the Northern Territory and discussions with Flinders University Nutrition and Dietetics academic staff. Third, a new curriculum was developed. Nine areas were identified for this curriculum, including reflexivity, approach and role, history and health status, worldview, beliefs and values, systems and structures, relationship building and communication, food and food choice, appreciating and understanding diversity, and nutrition issues and health status. Fourth, a final outcome was achieved, which was the decision to introduce a core, semester-long Indigenous health topic for BND students. A secondary outcome was strengthening of Indigenous health teaching across the BND and MND. The process and findings will be useful to other university courses looking to assess and expand their Indigenous health curriculum.
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    Management of food incidents by Australian food regulators
    (WIley, 2016-01-24) Wilson, Annabelle; McCullum, Dean; Henderson, Julie; Coveney, John David; Meyer, Samantha B; Webb, Trevor; Ward, Paul Russell
    Aim This paper explores how food regulators respond to food incidents and the barriers and enablers associated with doing so. Methods Twenty‐six semi‐structured interviews lasting between 30 and 60 minutes were undertaken with Australian food regulators. Regulators worked across food policy development, implementation, enforcement and standards setting. These interviews ascertained food regulators' views on food safety and responses to real and hypothetical food incidents. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results Food regulators reported that working together with other food regulators is an important part of effective food regulation and response to food incidents. Strategies for working together included clarifying expectations and developing formal documents such as a memorandum of understanding. However, challenges in working together were reported, including different risk thresholds, different political agendas and a lack of clarity on regulators' roles. Conclusions A focus on partnerships and good communication between food regulators is likely to facilitate effective management of food incidents, and maximise the chances that food incidents do not lead to increased consumer morbidity and mortality as a result of a poor response to a food incident.
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    Supporting dietitians to work in Aboriginal health: Qualitative evaluation of a Community of Practice mentoring circle
    (WIley, 2016-08-23) Wilson, Annabelle; Delbridge, Robyn; Palermo, Claire
    Aim This paper explores the experience of dietitians participating in a Community of Practice designed to support their work with Aboriginal communities. Methods The Community of Practice for dietitians working with Aboriginal communities ran for 12 months, starting in May 2014. Six‐weekly mentoring sessions were held using Skype, with conversation aided by a facilitator. In‐depth, semi‐structured interviews were held with all participants at the conclusion of the Community of Practice. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results Thirteen dietitians participated in the Community of Practice and an in‐depth, semi‐structured interview. Four key themes were identified: (i) Aboriginal health practice requires a different way of ‘knowing’, ‘being’ and ‘working’; (ii) Community of Practice is a safe place to discuss, debrief and explore ideas that are not safe elsewhere; (iii) participation in Community of Practice contributed to workforce retention in the Aboriginal health sector; and (iv) participation in Community of Practice contributed to dietitians changing their practice and feeling confident to do so. Conclusions By increasing confidence and opportunities for safe discussion, Community of Practice appears to be a useful model of Continuing Professional Development to support dietitians working in Aboriginal health.
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    Why We Need a Community of Practice for Dietitians Working in Indigenous Health
    (WIley, 2015-10-30) Wilson, Annabelle; Delbridge, Robyn; Palermo, Claire
    The current burden of disease in Indigenous Australians, compared with non‐Indigenous Australians, is well documented.1, 2 Indigenous people experience disproportionate rates of conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and renal disease.1 Factors that contribute to this health gap include historical, political and socioeconomic marginalisation and negative assumptions about Indigenous peoples, which can result in intergenerational discriminatory practices that have a profound effect on health and wellbeing.3 Nutrition is an important part of the prevention and management of many of these health issues including overweight and obesity4 and diabetes.5 National policy has recognised the vital role of the nutrition workforce in preventing and managing there conditions.6 Therefore, dietitians play an important role in working with Indigenous communities. However, there is a lack of evidence about how best to support dietitians working in the Indigenous health sector. There is evidence that dietitians face challenges working in Indigenous health.7 Anecdotal evidence suggests that these individuals experience professional isolation, are often sole practitioners, find it difficult to debrief in their workplace and with dietetic colleagues, are often in the minority due to the lack of nutrition‐specific positions in Indigenous nutrition and are at high risk of burnout. This is particularly the case for dietitians working in rural and remote areas, who often work with Indigenous people due to the higher proportion of Indigenous people living outside capital cities compared with the entire Australian population.8, 9 Support networks have been identified as one factor that contribute to dietitians' decisions to begin and continue working in rural and remote locations.10 Mentoring may offer promise.11 A disincentive for dietitians to work in rural communities has been identified to be limited professional development opportunities,12 highlighting the importance of offering professional development to those working in Indigenous health and rural health. One way to address this is a peer mentoring approach known as Community of Practice (CoP). A CoP is a group of people who come together to share resources and create new knowledge to advance a topic of professional practice.13 A CoP has been shown to be an effective workforce capacity‐building intervention, particularly in novice workforces characterised by professional isolation and split function roles, including public health nutritionists.14, 15 Building on evidence of the CoP model for public health nutritionists and nutritionists working with Indigenous stores16 and recognising the anecdotal challenges faced by dietitians working in Indigenous health, a CoP approach may offer an effective workforce development strategy to strengthen the capacity of dietitians working in Indigenous health across Australia. A pilot CoP for dietitians working in Indigenous health was run from May 2013 to May 2014. Six participants met every six weeks through Skype and the discussion was guided by a peer facilitator, also part of the peer mentoring approach. The objectives of the CoP were To assist dietitians working in Indigenous health to feel more supported in their workplace, reduce professional isolation and increase retention. To support dietitians working in Indigenous health. To build the competence (skill, knowledge and attitudes) of dietitians working in Indigenous health through the CoP using performance criteria developed by the Australian Government,17 which has been used previously in a similar setting.18 The aim of this pilot study was to determine to what extent these objectives were achieved. Preliminary data to assist in answering the evaluation questions from the six participants in this pilot suggests that CoP has increased participants' self‐rated confidence in the following areas (median score reported minimum score 1 maximum 5): Negotiate strategies to effectively accommodate cultural differences in the workplace (increased from 2.5 (pre‐CoP) to 4 (post‐CoP)) Acknowledge and respect the impact of events and issues in Aboriginal history during service delivery (increased from 3 (pre‐CoP) to 4 (post‐CoP)) Demonstrate knowledge of and respect for the diversity of culture, skin and language groups, family structures, art and religion in Indigenous cultures as part of service delivery (increased from 3 (pre‐CoP) to 4 (post‐CoP)) Identify ineffective communication strategies and remodel them to support delivery of health services (increased from 3 (pre‐CoP) to 4 (post‐CoP)) Take responsibility for revisiting strategies to assist in the resolution of any difficulties, differences or misunderstandings that may occur (increased from 3 (pre‐CoP) to 4 (post‐CoP)) In‐depth interviews were also conducted with the six participants providing positive feedback about the usefulness of the CoP to participants. A second CoP commenced in May 2014 and will conclude in May 2015. This will add data to the evaluation story initiated by the pilot and more fully explore whether the objectives have been achieved through more detailed analysis of in‐depth interviews from a larger sample of participants. Indigenous health is a challenging area in which to work. There is a lack of evidence about the best way to support dietitians to work in this area and there is a need to develop evidence about the suitability of support mechanisms. This project will contribute to evidence about effectiveness of a CoP approach and will help to determine best ways to support and build the competence of dietitians working in Indigenous health.
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    Food-system actors' perspectives on trust: an international comparison
    (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2018-09-10) Tonkin, Emma; Wilson, Annabelle; Coveney, John David; Henderson, Julie Anne; Meyer, Samantha B; McCarthy, Mary; O'Reilly, Seamus; Calnan, Michael; McGloin, Aileen
    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to compare the perspectives of actors who contribute to trust in the food system in four high income countries which have diverse food incident histories: Australia, New Zealand (NZ), the United Kingdom (UK) and the Island of Ireland (IOI), focussing on their communication with the public, and their approach to food system interrelationships. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected in two separate studies: the first in Australia, NZ and the UK (Study 1); and the second on the IOI (Study 2). In-depth interviews were conducted with media, food industry and food regulatory actors across the four regions (n=105, Study 1; n=50, Study 2). Analysis focussed on identifying similarities and differences in the perspectives of actors from the four regions regarding the key themes of communication with the public, and relationships between media, industry and regulators. Findings While there were many similarities in the way food system actors from the four regions discussed (re)building trust in the context of a food incident, their perceptions differed in a number of critical ways regarding food system actor use of social media, and the attitudes and approaches towards relationships between food system actors. Originality/value This paper outlines opportunities for the regions studied to learn from each other when looking for practical strategies to maximise consumer trust in the food system, particularly relating to the use of social media and attitudes towards role definition in industry–regulator relationships.
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    Trust in and through labelling - a systematic review and critique
    (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2015) Tonkin, Emma; Wilson, Annabelle; Coveney, John David; Webb, John; Meyer, Samantha B
    Purpose – Distrust of conventional food supply systems impacts consumer food choice. This in turn has implications for consumer nutrition outcomes and acceptance of expert advice regarding food and health. The research exploring consumer trust is found across a broad range of research streams, and is not cohesive in topic or approach. The purpose of this paper is to synthesise the disparate literature exploring the interaction between food labelling and consumer trust to determine what is known, and gaps in knowledge regarding food labelling and consumer trust. Design/methodology/approach – A systematic search of trust and food labelling literature was conducted, with study results synthesised and integrated. Studies were then critically analysed for the conceptualisation of the consumer, the label, and their interaction with a framework developed using social theories of trust. Findings – In total, 27 studies were identified. It was found that not only is the current literature predominantly atheoretical, but the conceptualisation of labelling has been limited. Research limitations/implications – Further empirical research is needed to enable a more comprehensive understanding of the role food labelling plays in influencing consumer trust in food systems. Originality/value – This research develops a conceptualisation of the dual roles food labelling may play in influencing consumer trust in food systems. It distinguishes between trust in food labelling itself, and the trust consumers develop in the food supply system through food labelling. The novel theoretical model and synthesis provide a foundation upon which future research may be conducted.
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    Consumer trust in the Australian food system – The everyday erosive impact of food labelling
    (Elsevier, 2016-04-08) Tonkin, Emma; Webb, Trevor; Coveney, John David; Meyer, Samantha B; Wilson, Annabelle
    Consumer trust in food system actors is foundational for ensuring consumer confidence in food safety. As food labelling is a direct communication between consumers and food system actors, it may influence consumer perceptions of actor trustworthiness. This study explores the judgements formed about the trustworthiness of the food system and its actors through labelling, and the expectations these judgements are based on. In-depth, semi-structured interviews with 24 Australian consumers were conducted. Theoretical sampling focussed on shopping location, dietary requirements, rurality, gender, age and educational background. The methodological approach used (adaptive theory) enabled emerging data to be examined through the lens of a set of guiding theoretical concepts, and theory reconsidered in light of emerging data. Food labelling acted as a surrogate for personal interaction with industry and government for participants. Judgements about the trustworthiness of these actors and the broader food system were formed through interaction with food labelling and were based on expectations of both competence and goodwill. Interaction with labelling primarily reduced trust in actors within the food system, undermining trust in the system as a whole. Labelling has a role as an access point to the food system. Access points are points of vulnerability for systems, where trust can be developed, reinforced or broken down. For the participants in this study, in general labelling demonstrates food system actors lack goodwill and violate their fiduciary responsibility. This paper provides crucial insights for industry and policy actors to use this access point to build, rather than undermine, trust in food systems.
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    Consumer concerns relating to food labeling and trust - Australian governance actors respond
    (Wiley, 2017-09-07) Tonkin, Emma; Coveney, John David; Webb, Trevor; Wilson, Annabelle; Meyer, Samantha B
    This study aims to report and critically analyze the responses of governance actors to a set of consumers' concerns relating to food labeling, and by doing so describe how these actors construct both consumer perspectives and the food policy environment in which they work. Fifteen food‐labeling governance actors in Australia and New Zealand were asked to view an online presentation of the findings from a previous study exploring consumer perspectives on food labeling and trust before completing a one‐hour, in‐depth, semi‐structured interview. Colebatch's social constructionist perspective on policy was adopted in the analysis. Participants used their own constructions of Australian food policy, the role of labeling and consumer trust as a means to minimize the consumer concerns. Inadequate critical engagement with the moral dimension of consumer concerns is a core driver of the inertia demonstrated in the Australian government's approach to addressing consumer concerns regarding food matters.
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    The process of making trust related judgements through interaction with food labelling
    (Elsevier, 2016-06-30) Tonkin, Emma; Meyer, Samantha B; Coveney, John David; Webb, Trevor; Wilson, Annabelle
    There is both empirical and theoretical research supporting the idea that consumers’ interaction with food labelling impacts on their trust in the food system and its actors. This paper explores the process by which consumers’ interpretation of, and interaction with, labelling results in the formation of trust related judgements. In-depth, semi-structured interviews with 24 Australian consumers were conducted. Theoretical sampling was used to gather a wide range of consumer perspectives. Real food packages were used as prompts for discussion in interviews, with one interview section requiring participants to examine particular products while thinking aloud. Process and thematic coding were used in transcript analysis. Labelling was seen by participants as a direct and active communication with ‘labellers’. The messages communicated by individual label elements were interpreted more broadly than their regulatory definitions and were integrated during the process of making sense of labelling. This enabled participants to form trust related judgements through interaction with labelling. Finally, product and consumer characteristics varied participants’ judgements about the same or similar label elements and products. Divergence in consumer and regulatory interpretations of labelling creates a situation where labelling may be both fully compliant with all relevant legislation and regulation, and still be perceived as misleading by consumers. This suggests that the rational frameworks that policy seeks to overlay on consumers when considering food labelling regulation may be hindering consumer belief in the trustworthiness of labellers. Policy must recognise the different, yet equally legitimate, ways of interpreting labelling if it is to foster, and not undermine, consumer trust in the food system generally.