NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Nutrition: #Sugar and #Salt are killing our mob, so let’s #Rethinksugarydrink and #unpackthesalt #GHC2018 @DeadlyChoices

 ” At least 1.1 million litres of so-called “full sugar” soft drink was sold in remote community stores last financial year. One remote community store drawing half of total profits from soft drink sales,

I think particularly in remote communities and very remote communities sugar is just killing the population.

[It’s] putting them into that very high risk area before they get to an age where those chronic diseases are evident.

But I think we are on the crest of the wave of understanding in the communities of the connection between health outcomes and the sort of foods you eat “

In the wake of recent progress report on Closing the Gap, the Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion made this observation

“I think we can all agree that poor diet in communities with consumption of fat, salt and sugar has a large impact on life expectancy in communities,” he said.

“Full sugar soft drinks are a major contributor.”

Outback Stores, which runs 36 small supermarkets in remote Aboriginal communities,the company’s chief executive Steven Moore told the committee the figures for soft drink sales are “astounding”.

” An inspiring television campaign featuring Victorian Aboriginal community members sharing how cutting back on sugary drinks has helped their health and wellbeing was launched early this year .

The ‘Our Stories’ campaign features local Aboriginal health champions yarning about their personal journeys of cutting back on sugary drinks and creating healthier environments for Aboriginal communities.

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc (VACCHO) and 17 other leading health bodies working on Rethink Sugary Drink are behind the campaign.” 

 View the Rethink Sugary Drink campaign and details of their Webinar Part 2 Below 

 ” Government to work with the food industry and community stores to implement retail intervention strategies to positively influence access to and consumption of healthy food choices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities “

Extract from NACCHO Network Submission to the Select Committee’s Obesity Epidemic in Australia Inquiry. 

Download the full 15 Page submission HERE

Obesity Epidemic in Australia – Network Submission – 6.7.18

Amata SA was an alcohol-free community, but some years earlier its population of just under 400 people had been consuming 40,000 litres of soft drink annually.

See NACCHO Story

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Read and or Subscribe to 27 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and sugar tax articles 

Read over 50 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Obesity articles published in past 6 years 

 ” Given the high rates of hypertension, CVD and CKD in the Indigenous Australian population, particularly in remote communities, lowering salt intake could significantly reduce chronic disease burden.

Salt intakes of the remote Indigenous Australian population are far above recommendations, likely contributing to the high prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular mortality experienced by this population.

Salt-reduction strategies could considerably reduce salt intake in this population without increasing risk of iodine deficiency at the population-level.

Indigenous Australians experience premature mortality due to chronic disease at a highly disproportionate rate, and much earlier age, compared with non-Indigenous Australians .

 Risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in Indigenous Australians is nearly twice that of non-Indigenous Australians [2], and CVD is responsible for approximately 3 years of the life-expectancy gap experienced by this population .

 The high prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the Indigenous Australian population is growing concern, particularly in very remote areas; nearly four in ten Indigenous Australians living in very remote Australia have indicators of CKD .

Dietary improvement strategies are a priority for reducing chronic disease risk and improving health equity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Read research in full HERE

Part 1: Draft salt targets for food manufacturers are welcome but regular monitoring is key to success, says the Heart Foundation, VicHealth and The George Institute for Global Health

 

Draft salt targets for food manufacturers are welcome but regular monitoring is key to success, the Heart Foundation, VicHealth and The George Institute for Global Health said last week

The call came with the release of a recent consumer survey by VicHealth, which found that more than 70 per cent of people want home brand products to contain less salt, and 60 per cent would pick a low- salt product off the supermarket shelf over a salty version.

At a parliamentary breakfast , the coalition of organisations representing the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership supported the Federal Government’s current consultation on draft salt targets for a range of processed and packaged foods including ready meals, pizza, processed meats and baked goods.

The consultation is part of the Healthy Food Partnership, under which the Government, the public health sector and the food industry work together to encourage healthy eating.

The coalition encouraged the Federal Government to:

  1. Set and monitor targets to reduce salt in identified food categories
  2. Measure and monitor changes in population salt intake, and
  3. Highlight the importance of reducing salt as part of a national healthy eating campaign

Heart Foundation CEO Victoria Kellie-Ann Jolly welcomed the Federal Government’s public consultation on draft targets.

“We have long advocated for food reformulation and are pleased to see the Government taking steps to address this issue. We know adopting targets to reduce hidden salt in processed and packaged foods is an effective way to reduce Australia’s average salt intake at a population level,” Ms Jolly said.

“Seventy-five per cent of the salt in our diets is hidden in processed and packaged foods. Excess salt can increase your blood pressure, which is a major risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

“Through our Unpack the Salt campaign, we’ve seen how benchmarking products like pasta sauces opens up a dialogue with manufacturers and is key for encouraging them to consider reducing salt in their processed and packaged foods. If salt levels are adjusted incrementally over time, consumers’ taste expectations adjust accordingly.”

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said community attitudes towards salt are changing. “Consumers are becoming more health conscious which in turn, drives demand for healthier, packaged and processed foods, putting pressure on food manufacturers to reformulate their products,” Ms Rechter said.

“With the majority of consumers calling for healthier, reduced salt products on our supermarket shelves, it’s time that industry and the Government meets this demand.

“We also know that not everyone understands the impact of too much salt on their health. A national healthy eating campaign is needed to ensure people can make an informed decision about the food they eat.”

The George Institute for Global Health’s Dr Jacqui Webster warned Australia seriously lags in its efforts to address salt intake at a population level.

“The United Kingdom has one of the lowest salt intakes of any developed country. They achieved a 15 per cent reduction through strong government leadership that set salt targets for the food industry and actively monitored their progress,” Dr Webster said.

“If Australia is to meet its commitment to the World Health Organization target of a 30 per cent reduction in salt by 2025, then we need more urgent action. That’s why we welcome the Federal Government’s commitment through the Healthy Food Partnership to drive change through targets for sodium levels in foods.

“To ensure the success of these targets, we need the Federal Government to commit to funding implementation and monitoring as well as delivering a national healthy eating campaign, with a focus on the importance of reducing salt.

“Eating too much salt increases blood pressure which is one of the biggest contributors to premature death and disability in Australia. Reducing Australian salt consumption would save thousands of lives each year as well as millions in healthcare costs.”

For more information about salt reformulation please visit Unpack the Salt website.

Part 2 Re Think sugary drink Webinar 

An inspiring new television campaign featuring Victorian Aboriginal community members sharing how cutting back on sugary drinks has helped their health and wellbeing was launched early this year .

The ‘Our Stories’ campaign features local Aboriginal health champions yarning about their personal journeys of cutting back on sugary drinks and creating healthier environments for Aboriginal communities.

View Video 2

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc (VACCHO) and 17 other leading health bodies working on Rethink Sugary Drink are behind the campaign.

Michelle Crilly is a young Yorta Yorta woman who features in one of the three advertisements. She shares her experience in making the choice to switch from sugary drinks to water.

“I was driving home one day, probably about three years ago. I was 20, and I had some chest pain. And being so young I got really worried,” Ms Crilly said.

“I used to be addicted to Slurpees. I’d also drink about 4–5 cans of soft drink every day… [Now] I exercise every day and I don’t have as much anxiety and I don’t feel depressed anymore.”

In the advertisement, Michelle urges others in the Aboriginal community to follow her lead.

“Keep going with your healthy lifestyle changes. It doesn’t happen overnight but eventually it will become a part of your daily routine,” she said.

Around two thirds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 14–30 regularly drink sugary drinksi.

“Given the considerable burden of overweight and obesity-related chronic disease in the Aboriginal population, targeted campaigns are required to increase awareness and reduce consumption of sugary drinks among the Victorian Aboriginal community,” said Louise Lyons, Director of Public Health and Research at VACCHO.

“Some people might not realise but sugary drinks, like soft drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks, are loaded with ridiculous amounts of sugar. All that extra sugar is no good for our bodies, so drinking too much can lead to tooth decay and weight gain, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease, stroke and some cancers.”

Sugary drinks are a major contributor to Australia’s obesity problem, said Craig Sinclair, Chair of the Public Health Committee at Cancer Council Australia – a partner of Rethink Sugary Drink.

“The ‘Our Stories’ campaign shows there is no need for any kind of sugary drinks in a healthy diet. We recommend Australians take a look and see just how much sugar is in these drinks – some have as many as 17 teaspoons of sugar – and choose water instead.”

The advertisements ran for two months on regional WIN television in Victoria and were shared widely on social media by health and community organisations.

How much sugar is in your drink?

Find out how much sugar is in your favourite drink using the table above – it might surprise you.

If you’re ordering a fast food meal, don’t go with the default regular/sugar soft drink, see what other options there are.

Carry a water bottle, so you don’t have to buy a drink if you’re thirsty.

If you’re thirsty, have some water first.

Be wary of any health or nutrition claims on the drinks you buy. Many producers are now trying to make their sugar sweetened beverages sound healthier than they actually are. Refer to the amount for sugar on the nutrition panel if in doubt and consider the size of the bottle as well

If you consume sugary alcoholic drinks, see if there are lower sugar options. Even alcohol alone is loaded with kilojoules so cutting back on the booze is also good.

Try to avoid going down the soft drink aisle at the supermarket and beware the specials at the petrol station.

 

Sport, physical activity and nutrition go hand-in-hand so sports clubs and recreation centres play a vital role in helping people lead healthy and active lives.

Selling sugary drinks in a sporting environment undermines the healthy choices Australians are making. It is more important than ever to make sports clubs and recreation centres part of the solution.

In this webinar, on 5 September, our knowledgeable presenters discuss ways sport and recreational environments can implement or maintain changes they have made to reduce sugary drink availability.

The presentation will celebrate the success of thriving organisations and offer practical tips and strategies for sport and recreational groups looking to reduce the availability of sugary drinks.

We are also excited to launch a Rethink Sugary Drink competition. The Victorian based competition serves as a great opportunity for sports clubs and recreation centres to reduce their sugary drink availability or celebrate the changes these organisations have made. Tune in to see what prizes are in store!

DATE: Wednesday 5 September 2018

START TIME: 1pm

WEBINAR DURATION: 1 hour and 10 minutes

REGISTER ONLINE HERE

PRESENTERS:

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