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Australian Food and Nutrition Policy - Research Paper Example

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Australian Food and Nutrition Policy

These diseases are now prevalent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
Lee et al (1994) investigated apparent per capita food and nutrient intake in six remote Australian Aboriginal communities. They found that in comparison to the rest of the Australian community, intake of sugars and sweetened soft drinks were much higher, and intake of whole grains, fruit and vegetables were much lower in Aboriginal communities. Furthermore, they found that white sugar, white flour, bread and meat provided over 50% of the apparent total energy intake for the people of these Aboriginal communities. The high intake of refined carbohydrates and the high percentage of energy intake from meat with excessive visible fat may help explain the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal communities. Hence there is a real need in these communities for a program that will help people modify their patterns of food consumption. A high fibre intake program is proposed to promote consumption of whole grains, vegetables and fruit in Aboriginal population, in order to reduce the prevalence of diet-related diseases.
To improve nutrition and public health ...
s action plan has been developed for all Australians, and the promotion of Indigenous health is also included; the companion document to the EWA program is the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition Strategy and Action Plan (NATSINSAP). The proposed high fibre intake program is intended to reinforce the importance of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grain products as outlined by the EWA program, and to improve the accessibility of these foods in remote and rural communities to meet the dietary needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Program aim
The high fibre intake program aims to increase the intake of dietary fibre in Aboriginal communities by promoting consumption of whole grain products, fresh vegetables and fruit in order to reduce and eventually eliminate the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the rest of the Australian population. It is hoped that modifying consumption patterns in this way will reduce the incidence of diet-related diseases in these populations.

Program objectives
Increase the availability of whole grain products in remote and rural food retail sectors.
Increase the availability of fresh vegetable and fruit, and also increase the proportion of caned vegetables and fruit, or dry vegetables and fruit, and juices without added sugar in remote food retail sectors.
Disseminate the concept of high fibre intake among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Promote a dietary shift from high fat and high refined carbohydrates to high fibre, low fat, and low refined carbohydrate in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Rationale
A great deal of scientific research has been dedicated to the study of the relationship between dietary fibre and ...Show more

Summary

In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are classified as vulnerable groups due to disadvantages of income, socioeconomic status, employment and education. In addition, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have changed their lifestyles and patterns of food consumption, gradually moving from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a settled Western-style existence since European colonists began to settle in Australia (Lee et al 1994)…
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