Associate Professor Helen Vidgen
Faculty of Health
School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Associate Professor Helen Vidgen is a global leader in the area of food literacy. Her definition and conceptualisation of the term is the most cited internationally and has advanced in the concept in research, policy and practice across settings and sectors in low, middle and high income countries, including being adopted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. She is interested in the role of food literacy in supporting individuals, households, communities and countries to navigate their food environments within our complex global food system to meet their food needs and contribute to healthy, fair and sustainable food supply.
Helen's other research interests include the social dimensions of food and eating, public health nutrition policy, translation and implementation including planning, evaluation, workforce and capacity. She was the chief investigator of Queensland's largest trial of a universal childhood obesity management program, wrote the evaluation framework for the State's largest chronic disease prevention program, and conducted Queensland's only published audits of the community and public health nutrition workforce.
Helen's public health nutrition research is informed by her extensive practice experience. Her first nutrition job in 1995 was as the sole clinical dietitian in a rural hospital. From there she progressed along the continuum of care from clinical dietetics in a tertiary hospital, community nutrition and executive officer roles at Nutrition Australia and then into public health as one of the first public health nutritionists in the Queensland State Department of Health. In her twelve years with the State Health Department she worked in various roles including, Senior Public Health Nutritionist in corporate office and Director of Public Health Nutrition in the Southern Area Health Service. She was the national co-convenor for the Food and Nutrition Special Interest Group of the Public Health Association of Australia for 5 years and remains on its executive.more...