Jennie Brand-Miller FAIFST, FNSA (born 1952), also known as Janette Cecile Brand and GI Jennie, holds a chair in human nutrition in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. She is best known for her research and publications on the glycemic index, a term originated by David J. Jenkins of the University of Toronto, and its role in human health. Her research interests focus on all aspects of carbohydrates—diet and diabetes, the glycemic index of foods, insulin resistance, lactose intolerance and oligosaccharides in infant nutrition.
Brand-Miller holds a special interest in evolutionary nutrition and the diet of Australian Aborigines. As a nutrition lecturer in 1981, she was investigating Aboriginal bushfood when she came across the glycemic index, a nutritional concept devised by David J. Jenkins and colleagues from the University of Toronto. The glycemic index has since changed the way the world thinks about food, nutrition and dieting.
Brand-Miller has played a major role in educating the community on the glycemic index. Her books about the low GI diet, including The New Glucose Revolution, have sold more than two million copies since 1996. The most recent title in the series, The Low GI Diet, was published in September 2004. She has published 16 books and 200 journal articles.
She has come under attack by economist Rory Robertson over her argument that added sugar consumption in Australia has declined in recent decades at the same time rates of obesity increased, which she has dubbed the Australian paradox. Recent research by GreenPool Commodity Specialists for the Australian Sugar Refiners, using Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS "extended series") methodology, has confirmed that apparent consumption of sugar has decreased in Australia over the past few decades. It is worth noting that the ABS is now looking into re-establishing the collection of Apparent Consumption data for Australia. In addition to this, new research by Levy and Shrapnel (Quenching Australia's thirst: A trend analysis of water-based beverage sales from 1997 to 2011) has confirmed that added sugar from soft drinks has continued to decline, and finally the Australian Governments latest Health Survey (4364.0.55.007 - Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12) indicates that total sugar consumption has decreased from 1995 - 2011/12.
Following an investigation prompted by the Australian economist, two minor arithmetical errors were identified in the original manuscript of The Australian Paradox which were promptly corrected in early 2014 (correction to Nutrients 2011, 3(4), 491-504). This was the only allegation out of 8 others that was substantiated (Outcome of inquiry into 'Australian Paradox' research ). Similarly, complaints about the scientific journal Nutrients publication of The Australian Paradox paper were not substantiated (Conclusions from OASPA Membership Committee Investigation into MDPI ).
Awards and recognition
- 2003: Received a Clunies Ross Medal for Science and Technology
- 2004: Received the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Award of Merit
- 2009: Received the Sir Kempson Maddox Award for her significant contribution to the diabetes movement and towards helping to improve the lives of people living with diabetes
- 2011: Received a Queen's Birthday honour, appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM), for her research into human nutrition and as a supporter of people with a hearing impairment.
- 2018: Elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA).
- "Professor Jennie Brand-Miller | Australian Academy of Science". www.science.org.au. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- Gardner, Tom (2 March 2014), Sweet research goes sour, HoniSoit
- Pascoe, Michael (7 March 2012), "Economist v nutritionists: big sugar and low-GI brigade lose", Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax
- Sugar Consumption in Australia - A Statistical Update (PDF), GreenPool Commodities, 4 October 2012, archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2014
- Morgan, Branwen (13 June 2011), "Nutritionist recognised for pioneering work", ABC News in Science, ABC, retrieved 16 December 2017