Food, Mood and Diet – Myth versus Science

Event status:

This exciting lecture will consider the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and how the food we eat affects our mood and appetite.

Thursday 27 July 2017 06:30 pm until Thursday 27 July 2017 08:00 pm (Add to calendar)
Christina Lew
Presented by:
Catherine Itsiopoulos, Antigone Kouris, Shane Delia and Dr Norman Swan
Type of Event:
$10 / $5 Concession

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The lecture will also consider the scientific research relating to nutrition, depression and anxiety, and the protection the Mediterranean Diet provides against diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia.

Join two of La Trobe University’s leading academics Catherine Itsiopoulos and Antigone Kouris from the School of Allied Health, Maha Restaurant Chef and Owner Shane Delia and Dr Norman Swan, host of ABC Radio National's The Health Report program, who will discuss and debate the controversy over the latest fad diets and their purported health benefits; explain how the Mediterranean Diet can help us all lead longer and healthier lives; and consider the causal links between food and mood.

The Mediterranean Diet rich in plant foods, olive oil, fish and seafood is one of the most respected, well-researched and most-often prescribed diets in the world.  Its positive health effects have been scientifically tested and proven for more than 60 years.


Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos BSc BSc(Hons) Grad Dip Diet MPH PhD APD: Catherine is a recognised leader in Dietetics and has international standing as a leader in Mediterranean diet research. She is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, Deputy Chair of the Australian Dietetics Council, and is the founding Head of the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at La Trobe University. Her current role is Head of School of Allied Health at La Trobe University where she leads 11 allied health disciplines. Previous roles include Associate Dean International for Health Sciences at La Trobe University. Catherine’s specific research area of interest is Mediterranean diet studies focussing on migration impact on diet and lifestyle and chronic disease risk, and dietary clinical intervention trials using the traditional Cretan Mediterranean diet (and elements of) as intervention models in the prevention and management of metabolic syndrome, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression and mood disorders. Her interests span whole of diet interventions, modulating individual components of diet such as omega-3/omega-6 ratio and pharmacological doses of long-chain omega-3s through diet, and culinary herb and spice placebo controlled capsule trials. Her clinical laboratory interests include measurement of dietary intake, plasma biomarkers of diet (carotenoids, polyphenols, and fatty acids), body composition and body fat distribution, and inflammatory markers of CVD risk. Catherine has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications with over 920 citations, has authored an RACGP HANDII Guideline on Mediterranean Diet in CHD management (May 2014), has co-edited a Nutrition textbook, and has published 2 Mediterranean Diet Cookbooks (The Mediterranean Diet 2013, The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook 2015).

Dr Antigone Kouris: Antigone is an Associate Professor, School of Allied Health in the Department of Rehabilitation, Nutrition and Sport at La Trobe University.  She is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with over 30 years’ experience. She was the first researcher to show in 1995 that adherence to the Mediterranean diet pattern in old age reduces mortality. Her research team was also the first to develop a validated Mediterranean diet score, which is now used by many other researchers around the world working in this area. Her findings and the Mediterranean diet score resulted in a landmark paper in the British Medical Journal in 1995, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1995 and Age and Ageing in 1996.  Dr Kouris also coordinated an international mortality follow-up study known as "Food Habits in Later LIfe" which involved over 800 people aged over 70 from Australia (Anglo-Celts, Greeks, Aborigines), Greece, Japan and Sweden.

Shane Delia is best known as Chef and Owner of Maha Restaurant & Biggie Smalls. Shane is a television presenter on Channel 9 Postcards, host of his own TV show Shane Delia’s Spice Journey, author of Maha Middle Eastern Home Cooking & Spice Journey – Adventures in Middle Eastern Cooking, and an ambassador for Mercedes-Benz Australia, Western Bulldogs FC & Melbourne City FC. Shane is based in Melbourne, Australia. His wife Maha, is the inspiration and namesake of his flagship restaurant. Together they have two children, daughter Jayda and son Jude.

Dr Norman Swan FRCP, DCH, MD (Hon Causa): Norman hosts The Health Report on the ABC’s Radio National, and Tonic on ABC News24 (Television). The Health Report is the world’s longest running health programme in the English speaking world and Norman has won many awards for his work including Australia’s top prize for journalism, the Gold Walkley. He was only the third person to be awarded the prestigious medal of the Australian Academy of Science and was given an honorary MD by the University of Sydney on its 150th anniversary.

Norman trained in medicine in Scotland and paediatrics in London and Sydney before joining the ABC and has hosted many other programmes on radio and television.  He was the medical host on Channel Ten’s Biggest Loser for six seasons and in September 2015 made a Four Corners on waste in the healthcare system. Norman created, wrote and narrated Invisible Enemies, a four part series on disease and civilisation for Channel 4 UK and broadcast in 27 countries.
He has consulted to the World Health Organisation and co chaired a global meeting of health ministers in Bamako West Africa focused on evidence based policy and priorities in health research. He has been the Australian correspondent for both the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Norman is also co-founder of Tonic Health Media, an integrated health television channel and production company which has over 15 million viewers per month.


Enter via Entry 3 (side entrance)

State Library Theatrette, 179 La Trobe Street

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