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Dietitians Week: Meet Lauren Le Fevre

10 April 2024

Meet Lauren, one of our Dietitians at Austin Health!

Lauren started at Austin Health on a three-month contract in 2009 after moving from the UK and converting her qualification. She has worked in a few different roles over the years, but has spent most of her career working with adolescents and adults with diabetes, and clients living with a mental health condition.

Lauren also teaches clinical units in mental health and diabetes to dietetic students from Swinburne University as part of a partnership with Austin Health.

When asked what inspired her to pursue a career in Nutrition and Dietetics, Lauren said that being a “people person with a lifelong love of science” has made it a great fit for her.

“My interest in mental health dietetics began whilst working with the veteran community at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital. I loved working practically with clients to enable them to access and implement healthy food messages and principles. The recent explosion of research in the area of nutritional psychiatry is fascinating, and there is still so much more to discover.”

This week is Dietitians Week, and the theme is ‘Nourishing mind, body and brain’. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in five Australians are estimated to experience a mental health condition in any given year.

“We have known for a long time that diet and nutrition can impact physical health, but the beneficial effect on mental health is relatively new. We need to spread the word,” says Lauren.

“Unfortunately, people with poor mental health are at increased risk of chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables and other wholesome foods can improve both mental and physical health symptoms.”

Dietitians play a big role in helping to translate and tailor this information to the individual client. Studies have shown that dietitian-led medical nutrition therapy can significantly reduce depressive symptoms and reduce the side effects of psychotropic medications.

You can read more about Dietitians Week here.

For more information and resources on diet and mental health, visit Deakin University’s Food & Mood Centre.