CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet is a controversial yet popular Australian diet supported by the Commonwealth Scientific Research Organization (CSIRO). The diet book is based on a 12 week study involving 100 women, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. There is now also a second updated book published.

The CSIRO Wellbeing Diet is easy-to-use, scientifically tested and nutritionally balanced, based on fairly logical methods for weight loss. It is a moderately high protein low fat diet, allowing for only 30-40 grams of fat each day. The amount of protein is about 126g (30-35% of daily energy), with carbohydrates making up the remaining 40% of daily energy.

The eating plan described in the book uses a simple exchange system based on a daily allowance of servings in five basic food categories (protein, dairy, fruits & vegetables, breads & cereals and health fats.) The program's eating plan includes 12 weeks of eating plans that include full daily menus, and there are over 100 easy-to-prepare and delicious recipes, featuring adaptations of popular Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. The book also includes a graduated exercise program, so that its recommendations are appropriate for dieters of all fitness levels.

It is good to see a diet that is based on scientific research with the involvement of a dietitian, giving some credibility to the diet. This diet is fairly well balanced and does not encourage the levels of meat intake that other diets do, however, there is a small amount of skepticism for this diet due to the fact that is was partly funded by the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry.

About the Diet Authors

Dr. Manny Noakes is a senior research dietitian and research scientist at CSIRO Human Nutrition, where she is involved in the management of clinical dietary trials that aim to explore the effects of different foods, diets, supplements, and pharmaceuticals on health.
Dr. Peter Clifton is research director for nutrition, obesity and related conditions at CSIRO Human Nutrition. He is also an associate professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide and is a practicing endocrinologist.

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