heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Q&A with Dr Jennifer Browne

Food and Nutrition Policy for First Nations peoples – translating evidence into action

Dr Jennifer Browne received a 2020 Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for her research project ‘Food and Nutrition Policy for First Nations peoples – translating evidence into action’ at Deakin University. Her fellowship builds on her experience and research as a dietitian, public health nutritionist and Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Health Transformation’s Global Obesity Centre, Deakin University.

What are you currently researching?

My research project focuses on which population-wide food and nutrition policy options are likely to be most acceptable and effective for Aboriginal populations. These policy options include reducing the cost of healthy foods, restricting junk food marketing, placing a tax on sugary drinks or improving food labelling. During my Fellowship, I will review the current evidence and will undertake food policy workshops with Victorian Aboriginal communities. This research will provide new evidence to support population-wide action to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people. Although the project will be undertaken with Aboriginal people in Victoria, the findings may also apply to the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, particularly those living in cities and towns.

What difference will your research make to people's cardiovascular health in Australia?

The connection between cardiovascular health and nutrition is clear.  Unhealthy diets are a major contributor to preventable chronic disease in Australia, including cardiovascular disease.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, cardiovascular disease is responsible for almost 20% of the gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.    Healthy food environments are key to improved nutrition and cardiovascular health, both in the Aboriginal community and the general population. The outcomes of this research will provide new evidence for population-wide policy action to improve healthy food environments. This will improve the cardiovascular health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in urban and regional Australia.

What motivated you to do your research?

I started my career working as a dietitian at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service and then worked for 12 years as a public health nutritionist with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO). This experience increased my awareness of the health challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people compared with the general population. Improving nutrition requires changes to the broader food environment and policies rather than only focusing on individual behaviour change. It also became clear to me that Aboriginal people must be involved in the design of health policies and strategies if they are to be effective.

What difference does your Heart Foundation funding make to you and your future in research? 

The fellowship from the Heart Foundation will enable me to build on two years of research that I have undertaken in collaboration with VACCHO and other Aboriginal colleagues to improve food and nutrition through population-wide policies. The project funded by the Heart Foundation builds on my Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellowship work.  This will hopefully put me in a strong position so that in the future can translate my current research into meaningful health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You might also be interested in

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program

Stay connected with your research alumni community. ...

Research Alumni

Research Alumni

Research Alumni

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program brings together current and previously funded researchers to create a community of the best and brightest in heart-related research....

Heart Foundation Research Award Recipients

Heart Foundation Research Award Recipients

Explore our research award recipients and projects...

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

The Heart Foundation is delivering a research webinar series for Heart Foundation research alumni....

Life changing research currently underway

Life changing research currently underway

Life changing research currently underway

Search our current researcher's and the ground breaking research being undertaken....

Our research stories

Our research stories

Our research stories

We fund amazing researchers who have important stories to tell...

Thrombus-targeted theranostic microbubbles

Thrombus-targeted theranostic microbubbles

Thrombus-targeted theranostic microbubbles

Breaking down blood clots...

Research connect newsletter

Research connect newsletter

Research connect newsletter

The Research Connect Newsletter provides monthly updates on the Heart Foundation Research Program....

A simple test may lead to better treatment

A simple test may lead to better treatment

A simple test may lead to better treatment

Dr Jay Ramchand discusses his latest research project....

Intelligent microbubbles

Intelligent microbubbles

Intelligent microbubbles

What are microbubbles and why are they important?...

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

A series of virtual events for young adults on managing emotional wellbeing. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Feel healthier and happier in six weeks with a free Personal Walking Plan...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Join the Heart Foundation in South Australia for the journey of a lifetime, trekking the ancient Flinders Ranges to help save Australian hearts....

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

This webinar discusses the role of practice nurses in conducting heart health checks...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

The Heart Failure Toolkit

The Heart Failure Toolkit

The Toolkit provides health services with a targeted approach to addressing readmission rates and decreasing variation in care....

CVD risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults

CVD risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults

This consensus statement contains recommendations for assessing CVD risk in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged under 35....

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Research shows if you have gum disease, you’re twice as likely to have heart disease.

Research shows if you have gum disease, you’re twice as likely to have heart disease.

Research shows if you have gum disease, you’re twice as likely to have heart disease.

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Discover how to plan for your return to work....

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

The prevalence of depression is high in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD)....

Q&A with Lauren Blekkenhorst

Q&A with Lauren Blekkenhorst

Q&A with Lauren Blekkenhorst

Research to develop better evidence for the vascular and metabolic health benefits of vegetables and their bioactive constituents....

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Eating healthy foods can help you recover and reduce your risk of more heart problems. ...

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

How your waist measurement contributes to your heart health...

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Resources available for built environment professionals to help guide in the development of active outdoor and indoor spaces....

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast recipes

Heart healthy breakfasts to start your day right...

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

Should population-based CVD risk assessment models make way for individualised risk prediction techniques?...

Heart health submissions to Government

Heart health submissions to Government

Every day we are lobbying government and industry to improve heart health....

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Explore how to manage your financial concerns after a heart attack. ...

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

Getting the right balance of fats in your diet can improve your heart health....

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Cardiac rehabilitation was a turning point for Kylie and essential to her heart failure recovery....

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discuss the practical application of absolute CVD risk assessment through Heart Health Checks....