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Exploring the relevance of intersectionality in Australian dietetics: Issues of diversity and representation

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posted on 23.06.2022, 06:34 authored by Robyn DelbridgeRobyn Delbridge, N Jovanovski, J Skues, Regina BelskiRegina Belski
Through an exploration of the origins of dietetics in the West, and specifically in Australia, we problematise the lack of diversity within the profession through the lens of intersectionality. Dietetics in Australia continues to be dominated by Australian-born women, and ideologies about dietitians perpetuate narratives of white, young, slim, women. Intersectional approaches to critiquing diversity in dietetics provides a useful framework to extend critical studies of health disparities into disparities in the dietetics professional workforce, which is advanced through structural, political and representational intersectionality guided critique. Through the analysis, a dialog is prompted in order to chart paths forward to find ‘how differences will find expression’ within the professional group. To do this, dietetics as a profession must reckon with its historical roots and step forward, out of a perceived position of objective neutrality regarding people and diversity, and into a position that can recognise that professional institutions have the power to exclude and marginalise, along with the power to include and transform.


This work is part of the first author's PhD studies, which is supported with an Australian Government Research Training Program Fees-Offset (Domestic) scholarship. Open access publishing facilitated by Swinburne University of Technology, as part of the Wiley - Swinburne University of Technology agreement via the Council of Australian University Librarians.


Publication Date



Sociology of Health and Illness






(p. 919-935)





Rights Statement

© 2022 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation for SHIL (SHIL). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.