Journal article

Prevalences of overweight and obesity among children in remote Aboriginal communities in central Australia

1 Jan 2012

The chronic diseases associated with overweight and obesity are major contributors to the excess disease burden of Aboriginal Australians. Surveillance of overweight and obesity is required to monitor these conditions, and to develop and evaluate interventions to improve health and wellbeing. Remote Aboriginal communities in Australia?s Northern Territory (NT) are where approximately two-thirds of the NT Aboriginal people live, a proportion which has been stable over many years. However the remote communities suffer significant socioeconomic disadvantage including limited education and employment opportunities, and poor quality and overcrowded housing. Approximately one-third of Aboriginal people in NT live in central Australia, which consists of the Alice Springs and Barkly districts. The Healthy School-Aged Kids Program includes health promotion and child health screening, and is run in remote Aboriginal communities of NT. This report provides estimates of prevalences of overweight and obesity among children in central Australia who participated in health checks as part of Healthy School-Aged Kids Program in 2010. The prevalences of overweight and obesity as estimated by BMI-for-age among children in remote central Australian Aboriginal communities were compared with those in other Australian surveys. They appear unlikely to reflect future relative risk of the chronic diseases with which overweight and obesity are associated. Routine collection of data on BMI-for-age may not provide adequate estimation of future risk of chronic disease burden attributable to overweight and obesity among these children.

Publication Details
No. 1
Published year only: 
Subject Areas
Geographic Coverage