NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Obesity : Contributions to the Select Committee into the #obesity epidemic in Australia close 6 July

” More than two-thirds (69%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were overweight or obese (29% overweight but not obese, and 40% obese). Indigenous men (69%) and women (70%) had similar rates of overweight and obesity (ABS 2014a).

One-third (32%) of Indigenous men and more than one-quarter (27%) of Indigenous women were overweight but not obese, while 36% of Indigenous men, and 43% of Indigenous women were obese ”

See NACCHO Aboriginal Health article

There is clear and robust evidence that children’s exposure to unhealthy food advertising influences their food choices, influences their diets, and can contribute to poor diets, overweight and obesity.

Despite Australian children’s high rates of overweight and obesity, there are few controls on advertising practices targeting advertisements for unhealthy foods and beverages to children in Australia and much is left up to self-regulation by the food and beverage industry.

The Obesity Policy Coalition advocates for improved regulatory controls to reduce children’s exposure to this type of harmful advertising

SEE OPC Page

“Sixty-three per cent of Australian adults and 27 per cent of our children are overweight or obese.

This is not surprising when you look at our environment – our kids are bombarded with advertising for junk food, high-sugar drinks are cheaper than water, and sugar and saturated fat are hiding in so-called ‘healthy’ foods. Making a healthy choice has never been more difficult.

The annual cost of overweight and obesity in Australia in 2011-12 was estimated to be $8.6 billion in direct and indirect costs such as GP services, hospital care, absenteeism and government subsidies.1 “

 OPC Executive Manager Jane Martin 

Download the report HERE  tipping-the-scales

Read over 90 Aboriginal Health Obesity articles published over the past 6 years

The Senate is currently holding a Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia, with a focus on childhood obesity. The Committee will be exploring the prevalence, causes, harm and economic burden of childhood obesity. They will also be exploring the effectiveness of existing policies and programs to address childhood obesity and role of the food industry in contributing to childhood obesity.

The Select Committee provides a valuable opportunity for us to show that there is an urgent need for action to prevent obesity, particularly among children. It also comes at a critical time when pressure is mounting on the Australian Government to act.

Submissions to the Inquiry are due by Friday 6 July 2018. Submissions can be made to Committee Secretary at obesitycommittee.sen@aph.gov.au. You can also find out more about the Committee here.

If you want to put in a submission please use one of the following:

Please use this opportunity to encourage others to make a submission on this important issue, the more submissions the better.

If you want to share this with your colleagues through your website or bulletins, here is some material to use.

Tipping the Scales report

In September 2017 more than 35 leading community, public health, medical and academic groups united for the first time to call for urgent Federal Government action to address Australia’s serious obesity problem.

In the ground-breaking report, Tipping the Scales, the agencies identify eight clear, practical, evidence-based actions the Australian Federal Government must take to reduce the enormous strain excess weight and poor diets are having on the nation’s physical and economic health.

Led by the Obesity Policy Coalition and Deakin University’s Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE), Tipping the Scales draws on national and international recommendations to highlight where action is required.

Tipping the Scales: Australian Obesity Prevention Consensus

This consensus document delivers a rigorous and evidence-based agenda to our Federal Government and establishes the key elements to include in a national strategy, as well as the basis for an ongoing dialogue, about the best ways to address the obesity epidemic.

Tipping the Scales: summary sheet

Summary document of the Tipping the Scales eight key points.

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Sugartax : @4Corners #Tippingthescales: #4corners Sugar, politics and what’s making us fat #rethinksugarydrinks @janemartinopc @OPCAustralia

On Monday night Four Corners investigates the power of Big Sugar and its influence on public policy.

“How did the entire world get this fat, this fast? Did everyone just become a bunch of gluttons and sloths?”  Doctor

The figures are startling. Today, 60% of Australian adults are classified as overweight or obese. By 2025 that figure is expected to rise to 80%.

“It’s the stuff of despair. Personally, when I see some of these young people, it’s almost hard to imagine that we’ve got to this point.”  Surgeon

Many point the finger at sugar – which we’re consuming in enormous amounts – and the food and drink industry that makes and sells the products fuelled by it.

Tipping the scales, reported by Michael Brissenden and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 30th of April at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 1st of May at 1.00pm and Wednesday 2nd at 11.20pm.

It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

See Preview Video here

 ” In 2012-13, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2 years and over consumed an average of 75 grams of free sugars per day (equivalent to 18 teaspoons of white sugar)1. Added sugars made up the majority of free sugar intakes with an average of 68 grams (or 16 teaspoons) consumed and an additional 7 grams of free sugars came from honey and fruit juice. “

NACCHO post – ABS Report abs-indigenous-consumption-of-added-sugars 

Amata 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.

The thing that I say in community meetings all the time is that, the reason we’re doing this is so that the young children now do not end up going down the same track of diabetes, kidney failure, dialysis machines and early death, which is the track that many, many people out here are on now,”

NACCHO Post : Mai Wiru, meaning good health, and managed by long-time community consultant John Tregenza.

See Previous NACCHO Post Aboriginal Health and Sugar TV Doco: APY community and the Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation

4 Corners Press Release

“This isn’t about, as the food industry put it, people making their own choices and therefore determining what their weight will be. It is not as simple as that, and the science is very clear.” Surgeon

Despite doctors’ calls for urgent action, there’s been fierce resistance by the industry to measures aimed at changing what we eat and drink, like the proposed introduction of a sugar tax.

“We know about the health impact, but there’s something that’s restricting us, and it’s industry.”  Public health advocate

On Monday night Four Corners investigates the power of Big Sugar and its influence on public policy.

“The reality is that industry is, by and large, making most of the policy. Public health is brought in, so that we can have the least worse solution.”  Public health advocate

From its role in shutting down debate about a possible sugar tax to its involvement in the controversial health star rating system, the industry has been remarkably successful in getting its way.

“We are encouraged by the government here in Australia, and indeed the opposition here in Australia, who continue to look to the evidence base and continue to reject this type of tax as some sort of silver bullet or whatnot to solve what is a really complex problem, and that is our nation’s collective expanding waistline.” Industry spokesperson

We reveal the tactics employed by the industry and the access it enjoys at a time when health professionals say we are in a national obesity crisis.

“We cannot leave it up to the food industry to solve this. They have an imperative to make a profit for their shareholders. They don’t have an imperative to create a healthy, active Australia.”  Health advocate

NACCHO post – Sixty-three per cent of Australian adults and 27 per cent of our children are overweight or obese.

 “This is not surprising when you look at our environment – our kids are bombarded with advertising for junk food, high-sugar drinks are cheaper than water, and sugar and saturated fat are hiding in so-called ‘healthy’ foods. Making a healthy choice has never been more difficult.

The annual cost of overweight and obesity in Australia in 2011-12 was estimated to be $8.6 billion in direct and indirect costs such as GP services, hospital care, absenteeism and government subsidies.1 “

 OPC Executive Manager Jane Martin 

BACKGROUND

 ” This campaign is straightforward – sugary drinks are no good for our health. It’s calling on people to drink water instead of sugary drinks.’

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Cape York experience a disproportionate burden of chronic disease compared to other Australians.’

‘Regular consumption of sugary drinks is associated with increased energy intake and in turn, weight gain and obesity. It is well established that obesity is a leading risk factor for diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and some cancers. Consumption of sugary drinks is also associated with poor dental health.

Water is the best drink for everyone – it doesn’t have any sugar and keeps our bodies healthy.’

Apunipima Public Health Advisor Dr Mark Wenitong

Read over 48 NACCHO articles Health and Nutrition HERE

https://nacchocommunique.com/category/nutrition-healthy-foods/

Read over 24 NACCHO articles Sugar Tax HERE  

https://nacchocommunique.com/category/sugar-

NACCHO Aboriginal Health @VACCHO_org @Apunipima join major 2018 health groups campaign @Live Lighter #RethinkSugaryDrink launching ad showing heavy health cost of cheap $1 frozen drinks

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Junkfood #Sugarydrinks #Sugartax @AMAPresident says Advertising and marketing of #junkfood and #sugarydrinks to children should be banned

Minister @KenWyattMP launches NACCHO @RACGP National guide for healthcare professionals to improve health of #Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients

 

All of our 6000 staff in 145 member services in 305 health settings across Australia will have access to this new and update edition of the National Guide. It’s a comprehensive edition for our clinicians and support staff that updates them all with current medical practice.

“NACCHO is committed to quality healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and will work with all levels of government to ensure accessibility for all.”

NACCHO Chair John Singer said the updated National Guide would help governments improve health policy and lead initiatives that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You can Download the Guide via this LINK

A/Prof Peter O’Mara, NACCHO Chair John Singer Minister Ken Wyatt & RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel launch the National guide at Parliament house this morning

“Prevention is always better than cure. Already one of the most widely used clinical guidelines in Australia, this new edition includes critical information on lung cancer, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and preventing child and family abuse and violence.

The National Guide maximises the opportunities at every clinic visit to prevent disease and to find it early.It will help increase vigilance over previously undiagnosed conditions, by promoting early intervention and by supporting broader social change to help individuals and families improve their wellbeing.”

Minister Ken Wyatt highlights what is new to the 3rd Edition of the National Guide-including FASD, lung cancer, young people lifecycle, family abuse & violence and supporting families to optimise child safety & wellbeing : Pic Lisa Whop SEE Full Press Release Part 2 Below

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) have joined forces to produce a guide that aims to improve the level of healthcare currently being delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and close the gap.

Chair of RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Associate Professor Peter O’Mara said the third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (the National Guide) is an important resource for all health professionals to deliver best practice healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

“The National Guide will support all healthcare providers, not just GPs, across Australia to improve prevention and early detection of disease and illness,” A/Prof O’Mara said.

“The prevention and early detection of disease and illness can improve people’s lives and increase their lifespans.

“The National Guide will support healthcare providers to feel more confident that they are looking for health issues in the right way.”

RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said the RACGP is committed to tackling the health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“The National Guide plays a vital role in closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health disparity,” Dr Seidel said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should have equal access to quality healthcare across Australia and the National guide is an essential part of ensuring these services are provided.

“GPs and other healthcare providers who implement the recommendations within the National Guide will play an integral role in reducing health disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and ensuring culturally responsive and appropriate healthcare is always available.”

The updated third edition of the National Guide can be found on the RACGP website and the NACCHO website.

 

Free to download on the RACGP website and the NACCHO website:

http://www.racgp.org.au/national-guide/

and NACCHO

Part 2 Prevention and Early Diagnosis Focus for a Healthier Future

The critical role of preventive care and tackling the precursors of chronic disease is being boosted in the latest guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality for Indigenous Australians

The critical role of preventive care and tackling the precursors of chronic disease is being boosted in the latest guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality for Indigenous Australians.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, today launched the updated third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Prevention is always better than cure,” said Minister Wyatt. “Already one of the most widely used clinical guidelines in Australia, this new edition includes critical information on lung cancer, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and preventing child and family abuse and violence.

“The National Guide maximises the opportunities at every clinic visit to prevent disease and to find it early.

“It will help increase vigilance over previously undiagnosed conditions, by promoting early intervention and by supporting broader social change to help individuals and families improve their wellbeing.”

The guide, which was first published in 2005, is a joint project between the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners RACGP).

“To give you some idea of the high regard in which it is held, the last edition was downloaded 645,000 times since its release in 2012,” said Minister Wyatt.

“The latest edition highlights the importance of individual, patient-centred care and has been developed to reflect local and regional needs.

“Integrating resources like the national guide across the whole health system plays a pivotal role in helping us meet our Closing the Gap targets.

“The Turnbull Government is committed to accelerating positive change and is investing in targeted activities that have delivered significant reductions in the burden of disease.

“Rates of heart disease, smoking and binge drinking are down. We are on track to achieve the child mortality target for 2018 and deaths associated with kidney and respiratory diseases have also reduced.”

The National Guide is funded under the Indigenous Australian’s Health Programme as part of a record $3.6 billion investment across four financial years.

The RACGP received $429,000 to review, update, publish and distribute the third edition, in hard copy and electronic formats.

The National Guide is available on the RACGP website or by contacting RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health on 1800 000 251 or aboriginalhealth@racgp.org.au.

 

 

 

NACCHO @RACGP Aboriginal Health and #Nutrition : The next RACGP NACCHO National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal people will examine the health effects of food insecurity.

 ” In the second of a series focusing on the coming third edition of the RACGP NACCHO National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, newsGP examines the health effects of food insecurity.

The National Guide suggests interventions to improve food security include school-based nutrition programs, structured workshops, cooking classes, demonstrations and community kitchens.

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the RACGP’s National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will cover further information on food insecurity in these chapters:

  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Child health: Growth failure
  • Oral and dental health

To be launched at Parliament House Canberra 28 March by Minister Ken Wyatt

Ms Morgan Liotta Morgan is a newsGP staff writer

The next RACGP NACCHO National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal people will examines the health effects of food insecurity.

Food insecurity can be attributed to various physical and economic factors present in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including limited food supplies, and lack of affordability of quality produce and nutritional education.

Traditional bush foods are a source of nutrition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities; however, when they are not available communities can rely heavily on community store and take away food.

A recent study by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) reveals that a third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are not consuming adequate amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, while rates of sugar consumption are high.

Sugar consumption was targeted in recent public health campaigns initiated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, such as Rethink sugary drink and Apunipima Cape York Health Council’s

Sugary drinks proper no good – Drink more water Youfla, both of which aimed to raise awareness about the detrimental health outcomes of over-consumption of sugar.

With access to supplies and lack of education part of the issue of food insecurity, financial burden is often also a significant factor for many residents of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities where, in comparison with urban centres, prices for fresh food can be up to 70% higher. Residents may have no choice but to opt for cheaper, less nutritious options.

Limited awareness of nutrition may also contribute to poorer health outcomes, with people’s diets influenced from an early age.

Together, all of these circumstances can result in various adverse health outcomes, including overweight and obesity, diabetes, failure to thrive in children, dental health and kidney disease.

Research from 2014–15 showed an association between dietary behaviour and other socioeconomic and health characteristics. For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 and older who were employed were more likely than those who were unemployed to report adequate fruit intake (48% compared with 39%).

Evidence also suggests that people who experience poverty are more likely to maximise calories per dollar spent. Foods rich in fats, refined starches and sugars represent the lowest-cost options, with healthy options like lean meats, grains and fruits and vegetables more expensive.

Engaging and participating in traditional food management has been established as a contributing factor for improved social and emotional wellbeing. In addition to the benefits of consuming traditional foods, participating in the sharing of knowledge and traditional practices has been shown to have significant benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities in urban settings, as well as rural and remote areas.

The Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) National strategy for food security in remote Indigenous communities aims to promote strategic action for Aboriginal health workers and GPs working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve food security. The strategy states that this effort requires ‘a multi-faceted and coordinated approach from all levels of government, [Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander] people and the non-government and private sectors to develop and implement effective and targeted actions.’

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report, A picture of overweight and obesity in Australia, shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and low socioeconomic populations are more likely to be overweight. As a result, the burden of diet-related chronic disease is high among people in these communities. This outcome can be traced back to issues with food security.

The National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (National Guide) suggests that interventions to improve food security include school-based nutrition education programs, structured workshops, cooking classes, demonstrations and community kitchens (including peer-to-peer education). Evidence suggests these programs can improve participants’ food security through developing cooking, shopping and budgeting skills, and can also reduce social isolation.

Initiatives such as fruit and vegetable delivery programs (eg the Good Tucker All Round program at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation) and community-led programs that grow nutritious, sustainable produce for community members can also assist with improving food security.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Nutrition : @HealthInfoNet Download the latest nutrition review confirming that community control is critical to improving the nutritional status of Aboriginal people

 ” This review describes how, prior to European settlement in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were generally healthy and enjoyed a varied traditional diet low in energy density and rich in nutrients.

Now, evidence shows that five of the seven leading risk factors contributing to the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians relate to poor diet.

The review also highlights that sustained and effective interventions to improve nutrition will require: an adequately trained workforce; adequate and sustained resourcing; intersectoral partnerships; a practical monitoring, research and evaluation framework; and effective dissemination.”

Download a copy of the review HERE

NACCHO Download nutrition-review-2017

Or Read online here at HealthInfoNet

” At a local level, most mainstream and Community Controlled Primary Health Care Services (ACCHO’s) in Australia could play a critical role in the delivery of nutrition and dietetic services.

To meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, primary health care services need to deliver both competent and culturally appropriate chronic disease care [215, 216].

The involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers has been identified by health professionals and patientsas an important factor in the delivery of effective clinical care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including nutrition education [215, 217].

Read over 45 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Nutrition Healthy Foods published over the past 6 years

Press Release : The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (HealthInfoNet) at Edith Cowan University has published a new Review of nutrition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It provides detailed information on food, diet and nutritional health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and includes data for diet-related conditions; morbidity, mortality and burden of disease.

This review highlights the importance of nutrition promotion and the prevention of diet-related disease, and provides information on relevant programs, services, policies and strategies that help improve food supply, diet and nutritional health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Lead author Professor Amanda Lee is a Senior Advisor at the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre at the Sax Institute and has more than 35 years’ experience as a practitioner and academic in nutrition, obesity and chronic disease prevention, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and public health policy.

HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew says ‘This review written by Professor Amanda Lee and Kathy Ride (HealthInfoNet Research Team Leader) shows the important role nutrition plays in health. As we see in many areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, community control has been shown to be critical for the success of nutrition programs.’

This review describes how, prior to European settlement in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were generally healthy and enjoyed a varied traditional diet low in energy density and rich in nutrients. Now, evidence shows that five of the seven leading risk factors contributing to the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians relate to poor diet.

The review also highlights that sustained and effective interventions to improve nutrition will require: an adequately trained workforce; adequate and sustained resourcing; intersectoral partnerships; a practical monitoring, research and evaluation framework; and effective dissemination

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed a Decade of Action on Nutrition from 2016 to 2025 in recognition of the need to eradicate hunger and prevent all forms of malnutrition, including under-nutrition and over-nutrition, worldwide [2]. The Global nutrition report provides context for nutrition issues internationally and in Australia, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders [5].

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to suffer the worst health of all population groups in Australia, with a high burden of disease and low life expectancy [6-9]. The latest available estimates of life expectancy, released in 2013, show that the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non- Indigenous Australians remains high at 10.6 years for men and 9.5 years for women [10]. A relatively large proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths are premature; during the 5-year period 2009–2013, around 81% of deaths among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people occurred before the age of 75 years, compared with 34% of deaths for non-Indigenous people [6].

Poor nutrition is an important factor contributing to overweight and obesity, malnutrition, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay [11, 12]. Chronic diseases – such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease and some cancers- are responsible for at least 75% of the mortality gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians [8].

For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.6 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 3-4 times more likely to die from type 2 diabetes than other Australians.

Yet these diseases are potentially preventable by modifying risk factors such as being overweight and obese, cigarette smoking, physical inactivity and poor nutrition [6, 10, 13]. Five of the seven leading risk factors contributing to the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians – obesity, high blood cholesterol, alcohol, high blood pressure, and low fruit and vegetable intake – relate to poor diet [7]. Combined dietary factors contribute the greatest proportion (27.4%) of all risk factors assessed [7].

Poor diet and nutritional status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are influenced by many factors, such as socio- economic disadvantage, and geographical, environmental, and social factors [11, 12].

Very few Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people meet dietary recommendations for intake of healthy foods [11, 14]. Also, 41% of their daily energy intake is derived from unhealthy ‘discretionary’ foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat, added sugar, salt and/or alcohol (‘junk’ foods), compared to 35% among non- Indigenous Australians [14-16].

The current poor nutritional health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is in marked contrast to the situation prior to European settlement in Australia, when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were generally healthy and enjoyed a varied traditional diet low in energy density and rich in nutrients [12, 17].

Key facts

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to suffer the worst diet-related health of all population groups in Australia.
  • Diet-related chronic diseases – such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease and some cancers – are responsible for at least 75% of the mortality gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.
  • In 2011, 13 dietary factors were identified as being risk factors for the Australian population (out of 29 risk factors). When combined, the joint effect of all dietary risks combined contributed 9.7% to the burden of disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • The nutrition burden among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults is underscored by malnutrition, which includes both over-nutrition (particularly over-consumption of unhealthy ‘discretionary’ foods) and under-nutrition (dietary deficiencies related to inadequate intake of healthy foods).
  • In 2012-13, very few Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults or children consumed adequate amounts of healthy foods consistent with recommendations of the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Furthermore, over two-fifths (41%) of total daily energy reported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people came from unhealthy foods and drinks classified as ‘discretionary’.
  • The current situation is in marked contrast to the situation prior to European settlement of Australia. All available evidence suggests that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians were traditionally healthy; enjoying varied dietary patterns of fresh plant and animal foods, low in energy density and rich in nutrients.
  • Many historical, socioeconomic, environmental and geographic factors contribute to the current poor diet, nutrition and food security experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In 2012-13, 66% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years or older were classified as overweight (29%) or obese (37%); a further 30% were normal weight and 4% were underweight. In addition, 30% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 2-14 years were overweight (20%) or obese (10%); 62% were in the normal weight range and 8% were underweight.
  • Prevalence of poor pregnancy outcomes and infant malnutrition remains high in many areas. Low birthweight, failure to thrive and poor child growth are still serious concerns in many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • In 2012-13, 83% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0-3 years had been breastfed, compared with 93% of non-Indigenous children. Of those who were breastfed, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants were less likely than non-Indigenous infants to have been breastfed for 12 months or more (12% compared with 21%).
  • Based on self-reported usual serves of vegetables eaten per day, only 8% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people met the vegetable intake recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Mean reported vegetable intake was less than a third of the recommended amount.
  • Based on self-reported usual serves of fruit eaten per day, 54% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people met the fruit intake recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Mean reported fruit intake was around half the recommended amount.
  • One-quarter (25%) of grain (cereal) foods consumed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were from wholegrain and/or high fibre varieties, compared to the recommended 50% or more.
  • The average daily consumption of milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives for each age-sex group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with the exception of children aged 2-3 years and girls 4-8 years, was considerably lower than the respective recommend number of serves.
  • The average daily consumption of lean meats and meat alternatives for each age-sex group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with the exception of girls 2-3 years, was less than the respective recommendations; intake was relatively high in remote areas.
  • On average, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2 years and over reported consuming an average of 75g (18 teaspoons) of free sugars per day, which equates to an average of 14% of dietary energy, nearly 50% more than World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. Two-thirds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s free sugar intake came from sugary drinks.
  • In 2011-2013, 22% of survey respondents said they had run out of food and couldn’t afford to buy more in the last 12 months. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote areas were more likely to run out of food than those in non- remote areas (31% and 20% respectively).
  • The underlying causes of food insecurity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities include factors such as low income and unemployment, inadequate housing, over- crowding, lack of educational opportunities, transport, high food costs, cultural food values, food and nutrition literacy, knowledge and skills.
  • A range of general Australian Government Department of Health programs contribute to the prevention and management of diet-related disorders among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders at a national level. However, since the expiry of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nutrition strategy and action plan 2002-2010, there has been no national coordination of nutrition efforts in Australia.
  • Several community-based nutrition programs have demonstrated positive outcomes in the past. The most effective programs have adopted a multi-strategy approach, addressing both food supply (availability, accessibility and affordability of foods) and demand for healthy foods. A major success factor is community involvement in (and, ideally, control of) all stages of program initiation, development, implementation and evaluation, to ensure the intervention is culturally appropriate and tailored to community needs.
  • Programs to improve food supply have included a focus on: food retail outlets; local food production, such as school or community gardens; food provided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and community organisations; and food aid. Community store nutrition policies have been shown to be important influences on the food supply and dietary intake in remote areas.
  • While nutrition education alone will not improve food security or dietary intake, it can be effective when combined with a range of other strategies to help people access healthy food, such as cooking programs, peer education, budgeting advice, and group-based lifestyle modification programs.
  • A well-supported, resourced and educated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nutrition workforce is essential for the success of nutrition interventions.
  • There is a long history of effort to improve nutrition and food security among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, however there is no current national nutrition policy or strategy in place.
  • Improving food supply and security to better prevent and manage poor nutrition and diet-related disease is vital to the current and future health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Food and nutrition programs play an important role in the holistic approach to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #SmartEatingWeek : We give 40,000 years of bushtucker and #nutrition the #thumpsup : Contributions from @Wuchopperen @NutritionAust #NATryFor5 #NATryFor5 @SandroDemaio @MenziesResearch @DAA_feed

 ” Bush tucker, or bush food, we have used the environment around us for generations (40,000 years ) , living off a diet high in protein, fibre, and micronutrients, and low in sugars. Much of the bush tucker eaten is still available and eaten today.

We guide you through it here ”

See Part 1 Below.

Read over 45 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Nutrition Healthy Foods articles published last 6 years

 ” Wuchopperen Health Service celebrated Smart Eating Week (12 – 18 February) by promoting the GOOD TUCKER app which gives food items thumbs up, thumbs across, or thumbs down depending on how healthy they are.

The GOOD TUCKER app was developed by Uncle Jimmy Thumbs Up!, The University of South Australia and Menzies School of Health Research in partnership with The George Institute, to provide a simple way for people to identify the healthiest food and drink options available in stores.

Your smart phone can help you make smart choices, Sometime the nutrition panels on food items can be complex – using the Thumbs Up app gives people a quick rating to help them make a better choice “

See Part 2 Below

 ” Why you still need to eat healthy foods — even if you aren’t overweight

We all have that one friend whose eating habits and body shape simply don’t add up. While enjoying the unhealthiest of meals and a sedentary lifestyle, somehow they effortlessly retain a slender figure.

At first glance we may assume these slim people are healthy, but it’s not always the case.

So if you don’t have weight to worry about, what’s the impetus for avoiding sweet or salty temptations and eating good, nutritious foods instead? ”

Alessandro R Demaio is an Australian medical doctor and fellow in global health and non-communicable diseases at the University of Copenhagen ( and a supporter of NACCHO ) See Part 3 Below

 ” Menzies is working towards better health through better nutrition by supporting #SmartEatingWeek,Join the celebrations by following
#SmartEatingWeek and check out our SHOP@RIC study resources “

Click here for Resources

To help celebrate Smart Eating Week we’re giving five Australians the chance to WIN some great prizes! To enter upload a photo or video on Facey or Insta of how you’re incorporating veggies into your snacks!

  To help celebrate Smart Eating Week we’re giving five Australians the chance to WIN some great prizes! To enter upload a photo or video on Facebook or Instagram of how you’re incorporating veggies into your snacks!

Don’t forget to tag @NutritionAust and use the hashtag #NATryFor5

DAA would  love for you to get involved this week in . Share with us what Smart Eating means to you. Join the celebrations by downloading our social media toolkit here

Part 1 Bush tucker, or bush food, we have used the environment around us for generations

Originally published HERE

Food from Animals

Providing the consumer with their required intake of Vitamin B, Aboriginal people learnt to hunt animals when they were at their fattest, offering the most amount of meat. Sometimes the meat would require a pounding before being traditionally cooked either over an open fire or by steaming it in pits. When fishing in the ocean, rivers, and ponds, mud crabs and barramundi were the popular choices. Whilst mud crabs were easy to catch, and tasted delicious boiled or roasted, barramundi would commonly grow to 1.2 metres, feeding more mouths, served on hot coals and wrapped in paper bark.

Land animals such as kangaroos, historically known as being high in protein, and emus whose meat is known to be higher in protein, Vitamin C, and protein than beef, are both low in fat. Not only are the two animals from the national emblem native foods, but hunters don’t stop there, hunting both small and large animals. Goannas are said to offer oily white meat tasting like chicken, while a 100g serving of stewed crocodile meat contains as much as 46g of protein, which is almost double the serving of a similar portion of chicken.

Other native animals previously captured by both Aboriginal and White Australians include: carpet snakes, rats, mussels, oysters, turtles, wallabies, echidnas, eels, and ducks. Most animals are still eaten today, and many like barramundi have made it to restaurants.

Insects and Grubs

The most famous of all bush tucker is the witchetty grub, which can be eaten either raw or roasted over a fire or coals, and holds a nutty taste. This grub is ideal for survival as they are a good source of calcium, thiamin, folate, and niacin, rich in protein and supportive of a healthy immune system. Like witchetty grubs, green ants are relatively high in fat content and another popular choice for tucker. Said to taste like lemon, the green ant’s white larvae is usually eaten, otherwise the green ants and their eggs have also made an appearance in a drink suitable for relieving headaches by grounding and mixing them together with water.

Many other insects known to be favoured include river red gum grub, Coolibah tree grub, cicadas, and tar vine caterpillars. Edible insects themselves offer a large amount of protein for such small creatures, for example, caterpillars contain 280g of protein per 1kg, which is 20g more than what salmon provides, along with good flavour, making insects a popular choice for bush tucker, especially on-the-go.

Fruits and Vegetables

We all know you need to find your five a day, and in bush tucker this is no exception.  Red fruits like quandong, which can be eaten raw or dried, and are often made into jams, and green fruits such as Kakadu plums contain 100 times more Vitamin C than oranges do. Other fruits and berries often eaten include kutjera, Davidson’s plum, boab, native gooseberry, lady apple, wild orange, wild passionfruit, desert lime, snow berry, and white elderberry.

Similarly to fruits, vegetables also act as a source of vitamin C, however, they are usually richer in other vitamins. The kumara, for example, are a staple crop of sweet potatoes that are rich in protein, Vitamins A and C, calcium, dietary fibre, and iron. Other common vegetables include yams, warrigal greens, water lilies, bush potatoes, and sea celery.

Native Spices

You can’t have a meal or make herbal drinks or sweets without a variety of spices. Throughout Australia, there are plenty of native spices from the mountain pepper and aniseed myrtle, to native basil, native ginger, and blue-leaved mallee. Each of these sources is able to be turned into food, an alternative flavour to one of the aforementioned food groups, a healthy drink, or act as a natural medicine.

Tree gums, for example, can be dissolved in water with honey, making sweets that the kids will love, but alternatively the sweet exudate that can be found on some of these trees can be made into jelly. Lemon ironbark and, one of the most famous plants in history, lemon myrtle, can be used in cooking or alternatively used as a herbal ingredient for tea to relieve cramps, fevers, and headaches.

Edible Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are another popular small choice; however, with many nut allergies seen today this shouldn’t be a go-to food group should you have any. Many of the edible seeds require soaking, pounding, and grinding before being baked in a careful ritual that is designed to remove the toxins from the food prior to eating them. If this preparation is not done correctly, most seeds will not be suitable for eating. Most nuts like the macadamia nut, peanut, and the Australian cashew, and seeds like the cycad palm seeds and seeds from the strap wattle and pigweed, can be eaten or turned into breads and cakes.

A prominent food for the Australian Aboriginals is the bunya nut. Similar to a chestnut (in both taste and appearance) this nut can be eaten raw or cooked. Traditionally, the Aboriginal people have been known to turn this nut into a paste to be eaten, or cooked on hot coals making bread. Similarly, seeds from the dead finish are collected to make delicious seedcakes.

Fungi

Although fungi are often believed among Aboriginal communities to hold ‘evil magic’, thus deeming them inedible, there are certain fungi that are believed to be of ‘good magic’. The truffle-like fungus, Choiromyces aboriginum, is a traditional native food that can be eaten raw, as well as cooked for over an hour in hot sand and ashes. This fungus is also a source of water, which is always key.

Commonly known as native bread (fungi) the Laccocephalum mylittae can also be eaten raw, but alternatively when roasted this fungi has been described to hold the flavour of boiled rice.

Part 2 Wuchopperen Health Service ACCHO Thumbs Up for Smart Eating Week

Wuchopperen Health Service Limited will celebrate the Dietitians Association of Australia Smart Eating Week (12 – 18 February) by promoting the GOOD TUCKER app which gives food items thumbs up, thumbs across, or thumbs down depending on how healthy they are.

Members of Wuchopperen’s Allied Health team including Community Dietitian Matthew Topping, Coordinator Allied Health Service Michelle Dougan, Diabetes Educator Tony Pappas, Dietitian Sue Charlesworth, and Exercise Physiologist Myles Hardy will wheel a trolley of common food items around Wuchopperen clinics , showing clients how the app works, and spark conversations about why particular foods get a thumbs up, across or down.

Community Dietitian Matthew Topping said the app was a useful tool to help people make healthy choices around what to eat.

‘Your smart phone can help you make smart choices,’ Matthew explained.

‘Sometime the nutrition panels on food items can be complex – using the Thumbs Up app gives people a quick rating to help them make a better choice.’

‘There’s no need to up end your diet, the key messages are around scanning a couple of your regular items and if they come up thumbs down or thumbs across, scanning another one to see if it’s a thumbs up.

Small changes are all that’s needed. The other thing to remember is that the healthy choice is not always the expensive choice – a home brand bag of rolled oats for example, is only a few dollars.

‘We are looking forward to taking our trolley into the clinics and having a chat with clients about the ratings, and why common foods may be rated thumbs up or thumbs down. This app is all about giving people the knowledge to make good choices.’

App demonstrations took place across Wuchopperen clinics on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 February and at Wuchopperen’s Edmonton Clinic on Thursday 15 February.

Find out more about the GOOD TUCKER app here

Check out the app here

 Part 3 Why you still need to eat healthy foods — even if you aren’t overweight

We all have that one friend whose eating habits and body shape simply don’t add up. While enjoying the unhealthiest of meals and a sedentary lifestyle, somehow they effortlessly retain a slender figure.

At first glance we may assume these slim people are healthy, but it’s not always the case.

So if you don’t have weight to worry about, what’s the impetus for avoiding sweet or salty temptations and eating good, nutritious foods instead?

Healthy weight ≠ good health

Body mass index or BMI, the tool most often used to determine “healthy weight ranges”, was designed primarily to track the weight of populations.

While it’s a simple and useful screening tool when looking at groups of people, it’s not a good marker of individual health.

This is because BMI is a measure of our height and our weight, and the ratios of their combination.

But weight alone doesn’t discriminate between a kilogram of fat versus a kilogram of muscle nor does it account for body shape and fat distribution differences relating to, say, ethnicity or gender.

Just as not all obese individuals have heart disease risk factors or unhealthy metabolisms (the conversion of food into energy), nor do all lean people have healthy ones.

There’s a well-documented subset of people known as metabolically obese, normal weight individuals.

These people are not obese as determined by their height and weight, but may face metabolic dysfunction such as insulin resistance (which leads to a build-up of sugar in the blood), and like their physically obese counterparts are predisposed to type 2 diabetes, high levels of fats in the blood, heart disease and even some cancers.

Food is health

The most compelling reason to eat healthy foods is the correlation between good nutrition and wellbeing.

Coupled with regular exercise, eating a diet rich in whole foods and grains, healthy oils and low in sugar and salt, has been shown to convey a number of benefits.

These include a longer life with less pain and suffering, less risk of back pain or muscular problems and even an increased libido.

Studies from around the world also show people with healthy diets are less likely to experience depression while unhealthy diets may put individuals at an increased risk of depression.

Food has been identified as an important risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia in older age.

A healthy diet combined with physical activity can strengthen bones and reduce body aches and pains.

And these benefits are conferred irrespective of your baseline weight or age.

Health risks aren’t always visible

While it might be easy to take solace in a thinner weight, many of the serious health risks associated with poorer diet are often hidden from plain sight.

Excessive salt consumption can cause the kidneys to hold on to more water, resulting in an increase in blood pressure.

High blood pressure strains the arteries that supply blood to our vital organs including our heart and brain, and increases our risk of stroke, dementia, heart attack and kidney disease.

Consumption of high amounts of sugar, especially from sugar sweetened beverages, is associated with an increased risk in fatty liver disease, among many other health problems.

This in turn significantly increases our risk of liver scarring, heart disease and stroke.

Recent research has also reconfirmed a link between bowel cancer and red meat consumption. Processed meats such as ham, bacon and salami appear to be especially problematic.

Not only can all of these occur without any visual cues, but they can also develop irrespective of our weight.

Our kids’ health

The importance of a good diet is not just limited to our own health.

Children of parents with poor diets are significantly more likely to inherit similarly unhealthy eating habits.

And it doesn’t stop there. Through a mechanism called epigenetics, our health and our diet can result in alterations to the expression of our genes.

Animal studies have shown epigenetic changes resulting from poor diet (and other stressors) can influence the healthiness of future generations.

Many scientists now believe the same will prove true for humans too.

Saving lives, and money

Contrary to what many of us think, the latest evidence suggests eating a healthy diet is actually cheaper than consuming the unhealthy foods that now dominate many Australian households.

Analysis of both wealthier and poorer suburbs in Brisbane, for example, showed the average family of four spends 18 per cent more on current diets than would be required if they could more closely adhere to healthy dietary recommendations.

This is not to say eating healthily is easy, accessible or even possible for everyone, but might be more possible than we first think.

Not only would adopting a healthy diet be a beneficial investment for individuals and families, it might also go a long way to curbing the major societal costs from growing weight gain.

The annual costs from obesity already add up to $830 million in Australia alone.

The consequences of poor diet increasingly burden Australians and our healthcare system.

While it’s easy to measure our health based on a reading of the bathroom scales, eating a diverse and nutritious diet will bring overwhelming benefits to everyone — regardless of our current weight.

Thomas Goodwin contributed to the research and writing of this article.

Alessandro R Demaio is an Australian medical doctor and fellow in global health and non-communicable diseases at the University of Copenhagen.

Originally published in The Conversation

 

NACCHO #BackToSchool Aboriginal Children’s Health and #Nutrition : @Apunipima There is more to a healthy lunch than what you eat #RethinkSugaryDrink

” It is important for children to form good habits by choosing healthy drinks from a young age. It’s not only important for children but adults as well, and children are more likely to learn healthy habits if they see the adults around them making healthy choices.

“Water is the best choice, It doesn’t have any sugar in it and it’s free, straight from the tap.Plain milk is also a very good choice with important benefits such as building strong bones and teeth.

Too many sugary drinks can harm our health, by causing weight gain and obesity as well as poor dental health in both children and adults.”

Apunipima’s Community Nutritionist Kani Thompson

 ” The Sugary drinks proper no good – Drink more water Youfla campaign includes access to free water throughout the local community.

‘We’re really worried about the impact of sugar in our area, because of the high rates of overweight and obesity leading to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease,’

Dr Mark Wenitong, senior medical officer at Apunipima Cape York Health Council in Far North Queensland, told newsGP @RACGP

‘What we say in a cultural way is water is not colonised, and it’s not coming from corporates who are trying to make money, Water has been here ever since we’ve been here. Keep drinking it.And see our water story

Watch Wujal Wujal water video HERE

Read over 43 NACCHO articles Health and Nutrition HERE

https://nacchocommunique.com/category/nutrition-healthy-foods/

Read over 20 NACCHO articles Sugar Tax HERE  

https://nacchocommunique.com/category/sugar-tax/

An apple a day might help keep the doctor away and could also mean better performance at school. One thing that we tend to think less about is the type of drinks that we are having.

As school has started for most Queensland children last week and many interstate today , Apunipima Cape York Health Council wants to remind families that healthy drinks are just as important as healthy food for good health.

Sugary drinks have become popular choices but they have little or no benefit to health. Sugary drinks refers to all drinks with added sugar such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, cordials, sports drinks, and flavoured waters. An alternative to having a ‘popper’ fruit drink or juice is to have a piece of fruit and water as a drink instead – these are much better choices!

Kani said packing healthy drinks with lunches was easy – keep it simple.

“Remember to pack water as the main drink with school lunches. Tetra packs of fruit drinks or juice can be a popular and are an easy drink to add to school lunches, but they have a lot of sugar that growing bodies just don’t need. It’s just as easy to swap them for a water bottle. And adults can take a reusable water bottle to work and keep refilling during the day as needed.”

Too many sugary drinks can harm our health, by causing weight gain and obesity as well as poor dental health in both children and adults.

Top tips for drinking more water at school or work:

  • Take a reusable water bottle that can be refilled
  • Freeze a water bottle the night before to put in school lunch boxes to help keep it cold the next day
  • If you are drinking a lot of sugary drinks start by swapping one for water
  • Drink water before you feel thirsty.

Apunipima is currently leading the ‘Sugary Drinks Proper No Good – Drink More Water Youfla’ social marketing campaign to promote key healthy messages around drinking water.

A series of videos have been developed with three Cape York communities to promote water as the drink of choice. The social marketing campaign is part of a larger project that involves a range of activities in the communities, that include adults and school aged children.

Apunipima is a partner with the Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance to increase awareness, and to tackle high consumption of sugary drinks which has led to overweight and obesity, an increased risk of chronic diseases and, poor dental health.

For more information on sugary drinks and drinking more water go to http://www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au/murri

From RACGP

Excessive sugar consumption is a major health problem in many remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia.

News teaser

The Sugary drinks proper no good – Drink more water Youfla campaign includes access to free water throughout the local community.

‘We’re really worried about the impact of sugar in our area, because of the high rates of overweight and obesity leading to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease,’ Dr Mark Wenitong, senior medical officer at Apunipima Cape York Health Council in Far North Queensland, told newsGP.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today consume 15 g more free sugars on average than non-Indigenous Australians, with the majority of the excess coming in the form of sweetened beverages.

In response to this situation, the Apunipima Cape York Health Council launched its public health campaign, Sugary drinks proper no good – Drink more water Youfla, in November. The campaign uses a variety of channels to raise awareness, with language designed to resonate with the target demographic.

‘The language came from our Aboriginal health workers,’ Dr Wenitong said. ‘We are trying to get the message into the communities in a number of ways, from primary healthcare clinics, through GPs and health workers; through radio and TV ads; and also through social media.

‘[Social media] is the big one these days, because most people in remote communities have mobile devices and are pretty avid users of social media.’

In remote populations such as Cape York, some of the increased consumption of sweetened beverages can be attributed to the challenges presented by the logistics of a remote location.

‘Our area is tropical and remote, so there’s not a lot of infrastructure around with constant access to cool water, and we have lot of hot weather so people are always looking for a cold drink, particularly in summer,’ Dr Wenitong said.

‘If all that is around is soft drinks, that’s what people are going to go for.’

Dr Wenitong also believes there is a historical basis for sugar consumption among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

‘Back in the day when [Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples] were consigned to missions, they were fed white sugar, white flour, white tea. That was their staple diet,’ he said. ‘That’s why, I think, we’ve got this long history of having a poor diet, leading to a lot of the chronic diseases we have today.’

The Sugary drinks proper no good – Drink more water Youfla campaign also has a practical component in order to ensure its message is actually achievable.

‘[That involves] making sure there’s water coolers outside the store, free water in the schools, handing out free bottles that people can refill with water and keep with them,’ Dr Wenitong said.

While the message of the campaign is simple and straightforward – just drink water – Dr Wenitong believes GPs can also use it to highlight a range of other positive health messages.

‘When you’re using self-management techniques, you’re really asking patients what’s most important in their lives and then hanging on that some of the things you know are healthy for them,’ Dr Wenitong said.

‘If it’s, “I really want to lose weight” they can say “One of the ways we can help you with that is to drink more water and drink less sugary drinks”; if it’s “I want to improve my dentition” they can say “Well, swap the lollies and soft drinks for water and healthier things, like fruit”.’

Dr Wenitong hopes the campaign will have a positive effect on the health of his community and his people.

‘What we say in a cultural way is water is not colonised, and it’s not coming from corporates who are trying to make money,’ he said. ‘Water has been here ever since we’ve been here. Keep drinking it.’


THE AUTHOR:
Amanda Lyons Amanda is an experienced health journalist and a newsGP staff writer

NACCHO Aboriginal Health @strokefdn @HeartAust New Year’s resolutions : For your health in 2018 have your blood pressure checked , it could save your life. #FightStroke

 

 ” We hear so much at this time of year about New Year’s resolutions – eat healthy, quit smoking, get more exercise, drink more water. The list goes on and on and on. 

While these are all valid and well intentioned goals, I am urging you to do one simple thing for your health in 2018 which could save your life. 

Have your blood pressure checked.  

High blood pressure is a key risk factor for stroke and one that can be managed.”

By Stroke Foundation Clinical Council Chair Associate Professor Bruce Campbell see full Press Release Part 1 WEBSITE

NACCHO has published 48 Aboriginal Health and Heart  Articles in the past 6 Years

NACCHO has published 86 Aboriginal Health and Stroke Articles in the past 6 Years

  ” High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is a major risk factor for stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, kidney disease, deteriorating vision and peripheral vascular disease leading to leg ulcers and gangrene.

Major risk factors for high blood pressure include increasing age, poor diet (particularly high salt intake), obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and insufficient physical activity . A number of these risk factors are more prevalent among Indigenous Australians

Based on both measured and self-reported data from the 2012–13 Health Survey, 27% of Indigenous adults had high blood pressure.

Rates increased with age and were higher in remote areas (34%) than non-remote areas (25%).

Twenty per cent of Indigenous adults had current measured high blood pressure.

Of these adults, 21% also reported diagnosed high blood pressure.

Most Indigenous Australians with measured high blood pressure (79%) did not know they had the condition; this proportion was similar among non-Indigenous Australians.

Therefore, there are a number of Indigenous adults with undiagnosed high blood pressure who are unlikely to be receiving appropriate medical advice and treatment.

The proportion of Indigenous adults with measured high blood pressure who did not report a diagnosed condition decreased with age and was higher in non-remote areas (85%) compared with remote areas (65%).

PMC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2014 Report see extracts below PART 2 or in full HERE

Closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who experience and die from cardiovascular disease at much higher rates than other Australians. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when compared with other Australians, are:

  • 1.3 times as likely to have cardiovascular disease (1)
  • three times more likely to have a major coronary event, such as a heart attack (2)
  • more than twice as likely to die in hospital from coronary heart disease (2)
  • 19 times as likely to die from acute rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart Disease (3)
  • more likely to smoke, have high blood pressure, be obese, have diabetes and have end-stage renal disease.(3)

From Heart Foundation website

Find your nearest ACCHO download the NACCHO FREE APP

ACCHO’s focusing on primary prevention through risk assessment, awareness and early identification and secondary prevention through medication.

Download the NACCHO App HERE

High blood pressure is a silent killer because there are no obvious signs or symptoms, the only way to know is to ask your ACCHO GP for regular check-ups.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the greatest preventable risk factors that contributes significantly to the cardiovascular disease burden.

The good news is that hypertension can be controlled through lifestyle modification and in more serious cases by blood pressure-lowering medications.”

Part 1 Stroke Foundation Press Release Continued :

A simple step to prevent stroke in 2018

Stroke is a devastating disease that will impact one in six of us. There is one stroke every nine minutes in Australia. Stroke attacks the human control centre – the brain – it happens in an instant and changes lives forever.

In 2018 it’s estimated there will be more than 56,000 strokes across the country. Stroke will kill more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer this year.

But the good news is that it does not need to be this way. Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable, and research has shown the number of strokes would be practically cut in half (48 percent) if high blood pressure alone was eliminated.

Around 4.1 million of us have high blood pressure and many of us don’t realise it. Unfortunately, high blood pressure has no symptoms. The only way to know if it is a health issue for you is by having it checked by your doctor or local pharmacist.

Make having regular blood pressure checks a priority for 2018. Include a blood pressure check in your next GP visit or trip to the shops. Be aware of your stroke risk and take steps to manage it. Do it for yourself and do it for your family.

If you think you are too young to suffer a stroke, think again. One in three people who has a stroke is of working age.

Health and fitness is big business. But before you fork out big bucks on a personal trainer or diet plan this year, do something simple and have your blood pressure checked.

It will only take five minutes, it’s non-invasive and it could save your life.

Declaration of Interest : Colin Cowell NACCHO Social Media Editor ( A stroke Survivor) was a board member and Chair of Stoke Foundation Consumer Council 2016-17

Part 2 PMC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2014 Report  or in full HERE

In 2012–13, 10% of Indigenous adults reported they had a diagnosed high blood pressure condition.

Of these, 18% did not have measured high blood pressure and therefore are likely to be managing their condition.

Indigenous males were more likely to have high measured blood pressure (23%) than females (18%).

The survey showed that an additional 36% of Indigenous adults had pre-hypertension (blood pressure between 120/80 and 140/90 mmHg).

This condition is a signal of possibly developing hypertension requiring early intervention. In 2012–13, after adjusting for differences in the age structure of the two populations, Indigenous adults were 1.2 times as likely to have high measured blood pressure as non-Indigenous adults.

For Indigenous Australians, rates started rising at younger ages and the largest gap was in the 35–44 year age group. Analysis of the 2012–13 Health Survey found a number of associations between socio-economic status and measured and/or self-reported high blood pressure.

Indigenous Australians living in the most relatively disadvantaged areas were 1.3 times as likely to have high blood pressure (28%) as those living in the most relatively advantaged areas (22%).

Indigenous Australians reporting having completed schooling to Year 9 or below were 2.1 times as likely to have high blood pressure (38%) as those who completed Year 12 (18%).

Additionally, those with obesity were 2 times as likely to have high blood pressure (37% vs 18%). Those reporting fair/poor health were 1.8 times as likely as those reporting excellent/very good/good health to be have high blood pressure (41% vs 22%).

Those reporting having diabetes were 2.2 times as likely to have high blood pressure (51% vs 23%), as were those reporting having kidney disease (57% vs 26%). One study in selected remote communities found high blood pressure rates 3–8 times the general population (Hoy et al. 2007).

Most diagnosed cases of high blood pressure are managed by GPs or medical specialists. When hospitalisation occurs it is usually due to cardiovascular complications resulting from uncontrolled chronic blood pressure elevation.

During the two years to June 2013, hospitalisation rates for hypertensive disease were 2.4 times as high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as for non-Indigenous Australians. Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, hospitalisation rates started rising at younger ages with the greatest difference in the 55–64 year age group.

This suggests that high blood pressure is more severe, occurs earlier, and is not controlled as well for Indigenous Australians.

As a consequence, severe disease requiring acute care in hospital is more common. GP survey data collected from April 2008 to March 2013 suggest that high blood pressure represented 4% of all problems managed by GPs among Indigenous Australians.

After adjusting for differences in the age structure of the two populations, rates for the management of high blood pressure among Indigenous Australians were similar to those for other Australians.

In December 2013, Australian Government-funded Indigenous primary health care organisations provided national Key Performance Indicators data on around 28,000 regular clients with Type 2 diabetes.

In the six months to December 2013, 64% of these clients had their blood pressure assessed and 44% had results in the recommended range (AIHW 2014w).

Implications

The prevalence of measured high blood pressure among Indigenous adults was estimated as 1.2 times as high as for non-Indigenous adults and hospitalisation rates were 2.4 times as high, but high blood pressure accounted for a similar proportion of GP consultations for each population.

This suggests that Indigenous Australians are less likely to have their high blood pressure diagnosed and less likely to have it well controlled given the similar rate of GP visits and higher rate of hospitalisation due to cardiovascular complications.

Research into the effectiveness of quality improvement programmes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care services has demonstrated that blood pressure control can be improved by a well-coordinated and systematic approach to chronic disease management (McDermott et al. 2004).

Identification and management of hypertension requires access to primary health care with appropriate systems for the identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and systemic approaches to health assessments and chronic illness management.

The Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme, which commenced 1 July 2014, provides for better chronic disease prevention and management through expanded access to and coordination of comprehensive primary health care.

Initiatives provided through this programme include nationwide tobacco reduction and healthy lifestyle promotion activities, a care coordination and outreach workforce based in Medicare Locals and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and GP, specialist and allied health outreach services serving urban, rural and remote communities, all of which can be used to diagnose and assist Indigenous Australians with high blood pressure.

Additionally, the Australian Government provides GP health assessments for Indigenous Australians under the MBS, of which blood pressure measurement is one key element, with follow-on care and incentive payments for improved management, and cheaper medicines through the PBS.

The Australian Government-funded ESSENCE project ‘essential service standards’ articulates what elements of care are necessary to reduce disparity for Indigenous Australians for high blood pressure.

This includes recommendations focusing on primary prevention through risk assessment, awareness and early identification and secondary prevention through medication.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health @VACCHO_org @Apunipima join major 2018 health groups campaign @Live Lighter #RethinkSugaryDrink launching ad showing heavy health cost of cheap $1 frozen drinks

 

“A cheeky, graphic counter-campaign taking on cheap frozen drink promotions like $1 Slurpees and Frozen Cokes has hit Victorian bus and tram stops to urge Australians to rethink their sugary drink. 

Rather than tempt viewers with a frosty, frozen drink, the “Don’t Be Sucked In” campaign from LiveLighter and Rethink Sugary Drink, an alliance of 18 leading health agencies, shows a person sipping on a large cup of bulging toxic fat. “

NACCHO has published over 150 various articles about sugar , obesity etc

Craig Sinclair, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Public Health Committee, said while this graphic advertisement isn’t easy to look at, it clearly illustrates the risks of drinking too many sugary drinks.

“Frozen drinks in particular contain ridiculous amounts of added sugar – even more than a standard soft drink.”

“A mega $3 Slurpee contains more than 20 teaspoons of sugar.

That’s the same amount of sugar as nearly eight lemonade icy poles, and more than three times the maximum recommended by the World Health Organisation of six teaspoons a dayi.”

“At this time of year it’s almost impossible to escape the enormous amount of advertising and promotions for frozen drink specials on TV, social media and public transport,” Mr Sinclair said.

“These cheap frozen drinks might seem refreshing on a hot day, but we want people to realise they could easily be sucking down an entire week’s worth of sugar in a single sitting.”

A large frozen drink from most outlets costs just $1 – a deal that major outlets like 7-Eleven, McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks and KFC promote heavily.

LiveLighter campaign manager and dietitian Alison McAleese said drinking a large Slurpee every day this summer could result in nearly 2kg of weight gain in a year if these extra kilojoules aren’t burnt

“This summer, Aussies could be slurping their way towards weight gain, obesity and toxic fat, increasing their risk of 13 types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease, stroke and tooth decay,” Ms McAleese said.

“When nearly two thirds of Aussie adults and a third of kids are overweight or obese, it’s completely irresponsible for these companies to be actively promoting excessive consumption of drinks completely overloaded with sugar.

“And while this campaign focuses on the weight-related health risks, we can’t ignore the fact that sugary drinks are also a leading cause of tooth decay in Australia, with nearly half of children aged 2– 16 drinking soft drink every day.ii 

“We’re hoping once people realise just how unhealthy these frozen drinks are, they consider looking to other options to cool off.

“Water is ideal, but even one lemonade icy pole, with 2.7tsp of sugar, is a far better option than a Slurpee or Frozen Coke.”

Mr Sinclair said a health levy on sugary drinks is one of the policy tools needed to help address the growing impact of weight and diet-related health problems in Australia.

“Not only can a 20% health levy help deter people from these cheap and very unhealthy drinks, it will help recover some of the significant costs associated with obesity and the increasing burden this puts on our public health care system,” he said.

This advertising will hit bus and tram stops around Victoria this week and will run for two weeks. #

 

FROZEN DRINKS: More  FACTSiii 

About LiveLighter: LiveLighter® is a public health education campaign encouraging Australian adults to lead healthier lives by changing what they eat and drink, and being more active.

In Victoria, the campaign is delivered by Cancer Council Victoria and Heart Foundation Victoria. In Western Australia, LiveLighter is delivered by Heart Foundation WA and Cancer Council WA.

For more healthy tips, recipes and advice visit

www.livelighter.com.au

About Rethink Sugary Drink: Rethink Sugary Drink is a partnership between the Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Australian Dental Association, Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association, Cancer Council Australia, Dental Health Services Victoria, Dental Hygienists Association of Australia, Diabetes Australia, Healthier Workplace WA, Kidney Health Australia, LiveLighter, The Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation, Nutrition Australia, Obesity Policy Coalition, Stroke Foundation, Parents’ Voice, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and the YMCA to raise awareness of the amount of sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages and encourage Australians to reduce their consumption.

Visit www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au for more information.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Junkfood #Sugarydrinks #Sugartax @AMAPresident says Advertising and marketing of #junkfood and #sugarydrinks to children should be banned

 

 ” Poor nutrition has been linked to the reduced health outcomes experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, contributing to conditions known to disproportionately affect this population, including type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and some cancers.

Twenty two per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in a household that has, in the past 12 months, run out of food and not been able to purchase more. Food insecurity increases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in remote areas.

Efforts to Close the Gap must recognise the potential impacts of improved nutrition on health outcomes, as well as the implications of food insecurity “

AMA Position Statement on Nutrition 2018

Download AMA Position Statement on Nutrition 2018

Advertising and marketing of junk food and sugary drinks to children should be banned, and a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages should be introduced as a matter of priority, the AMA says.

Releasing the AMA Position Statement on Nutrition 2018, AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today that eating habits and attitudes toward food are established in early childhood.

“Improving the nutrition and eating habits of Australians must become a priority for all levels of government,” Dr Gannon said.

“Governments should consider the full complement of measures available to them to support improved nutrition, from increased nutrition education and food literacy programs through to mandatory food fortification, price signals to influence consumption, and restrictions on food and beverage advertising to children.

“Eating habits and attitudes start early, and if we can establish healthy habits from the start, it is much more likely that they will continue throughout adolescence and into adulthood.

“The AMA is alarmed by the continued, targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks to children.

“Children are easily influenced, and this marketing – which takes place across all media platforms, from radio and television to online, social media, and apps – undermines healthy food education and makes eating junk food seem normal.

“Advertising and marketing unhealthy food and drink to children should be prohibited altogether, and the loophole that allows children to be exposed to junk food and alcohol advertising during coverage of sporting events must be closed.

“The food industry claims to subscribe to a voluntary code, but the reality is that this kind of advertising is increasing. The AMA calls on the food industry to stop this practice immediately.”

The Position Statement also calls for increased nutrition education and support to be provided to new or expecting parents, and notes that good nutrition during pregnancy is also vital.

It recognises that eating habits can be affected by practices at institutions such as child care centres, schools, hospitals, and aged care homes.

“Whether people are admitted to hospital or just visiting a friend or family member, they can be very receptive to messages from doctors and other health workers about healthy eating,” Dr Gannon said.

“Hospitals and other health facilities must provide healthy food options for residents, visitors, and employees.

“Vending machines containing sugary drinks and unhealthy food options should be removed from all health care settings, and replaced with machines offering only healthy options.

“Water should be the default beverage option, including at fast food restaurants in combination meals where soft drinks are typically provided as the beverage.”

NACCHO Campaign 2013 : We should health advice from the fast food industry !

Key Recommendations:

·         Advertising and marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children to be prohibited.

·         Water to be provided as the default beverage option, and a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to be introduced.

·         Healthy foods to be provided in all health care settings, and vending machines containing unhealthy food and drinks to be removed.

·         Better food labelling to improve consumers’ ability to distinguish between naturally occurring and added sugars.

·         Regular review and updating of national dietary guidelines and associated clinical guidelines to reflect new and emerging evidence.

·         Continued uptake of the Health Star Rating system, as well as refinement to ensure it provides shoppers with the most pertinent information.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Food insecurity

Food insecurity occurs when people have difficulty or are unable to access appropriate amounts of food.13

It has been estimated that four per cent of Australians experience food insecurity,14 though it is likely the extent of the problem is much higher.

Food insecurity is associated with a range of factors, including unstable living situations, geographic isolation and poor health.

It is more prevalent in already disadvantaged communities. In households with limited incomes, food budgets can be seen as discretionary and less of a priority.

This can result in disrupted eating habits and an over-reliance on less nutritious foods.

Food insecurity can have significant health implications, such as increased hospitalisation and iron deficiency anemia (in children) and increased kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and mental health issues (among adolescents and adults).

Poor nutrition has been linked to the reduced health outcomes experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, contributing to conditions known to disproportionately affect this population, including type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and some cancers.16

Twenty two per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in a household that has, in the past 12 months, run out of food and not been able to purchase more. Food insecurity increases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in remote areas.17

Efforts to Close the Gap must recognise the potential impacts of improved nutrition on health outcomes, as well as the implications of food insecurity. The development and implementation of potential solutions must be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The nutrition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote communities may be heavily dependent on Outback Stores. The 2009 Parliamentary Inquiry ‘Everybody’s Business: Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Community Stores’ resulted in a number of practical recommendations to increase the availability and affordability of healthy foods in Outback Stores, many of which have not been implemented.

Recommendation

These Stores, in consultation with local communities, should prioritise and facilitate access to affordable nutritious foods.

The AMA Position Statement on Nutrition 2018 is available at https://ama.com.au/position-statement/nutrition-2018