Indigenous Childhood Obesity

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Childhood obesity was defined as one of the epidemics of our modern society and it has changed to pandemic (WHO, 2000) due to increased number of cases around the world. The latest report from the World Health Organization confirmed 42 million infants and young children were overweight and obese (WHO, 2013).
Australia experienced a high rate of obesity in the adult population and a fast growing increase in childhood obesity, counting 1 in 4 children becoming obese. This situation makes a big burden to the Public health system due to the expenditure of health promotions and interventions to increase healthy eating and physical activity in order to decrease levels of obesity (Australia Government, 2009).

Development countries have been experiencing …show more content…

To aggravate the situation, children who are part of this classification are victims of bullying at school, which in some cases can lead of the development of other issues against their psychological wellbeing (AIHW, 2008).

Analyzing the situation of the Indigenous Australians regarding the rise of childhood obesity; we could gather that in the year 2012–13, among Indigenous children aged 2–14: 30% were classified as overweight (20%) or obese (10%).
Indigenous children aged 2–14 were significantly more likely than non-Indigenous children to be either overweight or obese (1.2 times as likely; 30% compared with 25%), and to be obese (1.6 times as likely; 10.2% compared with 6.5%) (ABS 2014d)
To have a better understanding of the reason of this increase in obesity levels in the Indigenous Australian populations, it is important to understand the changes in their lifestyle since the arrival of the western civilization.
The Australian indigenous food before receiving the influence of the Western Society was mostly known as the hunter type food, where animal food was consumed (even the carcass). They dedicated time to hunt their food and the food was available depending on their success in …show more content…

There are several risk factors, which made the Australian Indigenous people a vulnerable population. The drastic changes of lifestyle from their early hunter food setting to a western absorption of food patterns, extreme changes in physical activity, changes in healthy habits and high consumption of sugary and fatty foods, and not being able to find healthy food close to them which promotes food desert.

According to the Australia’s welfare 2015 report, Indigenous Australian children experience high levels of hardship in a variety of levels. In 2013-14, 143,000 children aged 0-17 received child protection services. Indigenous children aged 0-14 were seven times most likely to received child protection in comparison with the non-indigenous children.
Indigenous children represent 36% of the indigenous population and 12 times most likely to live in remote and very remote

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