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  • Subject Name : Nursing

Overweight and Obesity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Obesity is a major health concern in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community with health gap of 16% in the Indigenous and non-indigenous population with high prevalence in younger age groups of 5-13 years. This gap is predominantly associated with the Aboriginal children living in the non-remote areas and constitute to about 81% if the population (Government of Australia 2018). More than 30% of children aged between 5-13 years bear the burden of being overweight and obesity (Nghiem and Khanam 2016). This is also associated with the availability of primary healthcare. Care regarding the healthcare and well being in the community should be provided through education and improving the access to the healthcare in the community (Sherriff et al. 2019). The primary principle of health promotion, that is, improvement in access to healthcare should be improved. Improvement can be achieved through enhancing community c are services and health promotional strategy. The second healthcare principle that can help in reducing the rates of childhood obesity in the community is through health advocacy (Kim et al. 2016). The healthcare professionals must ensure to advocate healthy lifestyle and promote the well being of the community and children through healthy lifestyle promotion. For children aged between 5-13 years, the promotion and advocacy must be done for both, children and parents for an additive impact and minimization of incidence of obesity. This should be done through advocacy for eating healthy, development of active lifestyles, and educating the community about health complications associated with obesity (Sjöholm et al. 2020). Implementation of these health promotion strategies will assist in the minimization of health gap, decrease the obesity rates in the children, and enhance the quality of life of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

References for Childhood Obesity and The Income Gradient

Government of Australia 2018. Aboriginal childhood overweight and obesity. [online]. Available at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj8hs_yqp_sAhXY63MBHeg1AocQFjACegQIBRAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.phrp.com.au%2Fissues%2Fdecember-2019-volume-29-issue-4%2Faboriginal-childhood-overweight-and-obesity-the-need-for-aboriginal-designed-and-led-initiatives%2F&usg=AOvVaw0-_4wO5J4vE7aKp3JLtuzf [Accessed on: 5/10/2020]

Kim, S., Macaskill, P., Baur, L.A., Hodson, E.M., Daylight, J., Williams, R., Kearns, R., Vukasin, N., Lyle, D.M. and Craig, J.C. 2016. The differential effect of socio-economic status, birth weight and gender on body mass index in Australian Aboriginal children. International Journal of Obesity, 40(7), pp.1089-1095.

Nghiem, S. and Khanam, R. 2016. Childhood obesity and the income gradient: Evidence from Australia. Applied Economics, 48(50), pp.4813-4822.

Sherriff, S.L., Baur, L.A., Lambert, M.G., Dickson, M.L., Eades, S.J. and Muthayya, S. 2019. Aboriginal childhood overweight and obesity: The need for Aboriginal designed and led initiatives. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 6(4), pp. 332-346.

Sjöholm, P., Pahkala, K., Davison, B., Juonala, M. and Singh, G. 2020. Socioeconomic status, remoteness and tracking of nutritional status from childhood to adulthood in an Australian Aboriginal Birth Cohort: the ABC study. BMJ Open, 10(1), pp.1023

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