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Some remote Indigenous communities are spending as little as 2.2 per cent of total food expenditure on fruit and just 5.4 per cent on vegetables according to a study by the Menzies School of Health Research, published in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.
Menzies senior research fellow, Dr Julie Brimblecombe and her co-authors have found that a poor quality diet of mostly processed foods high in sugar and salt and low in fruit and vegetables continues to plague Indigenous communities.
The study collected data on food and drinks purchased in stores and other food outlets in three remote Northern Territory (NT) communities over a 12-month period from July 2010 to June 2011. Dr Brimblecombe said the findings reiterate the level of support urgently needed for healthy food choices in remote Indigenous communities.
'In all three communities the diet was insufficient in calcium, magnesium, potassium and fibre. Sodium was the nutrient provided in the greatest excess, at nearly six times the midpoint of the average intake range,' Dr Brimblecombe said.
'A further disturbing aspect of study is that white bread is providing a large proportion of dietary protein when it is a poor protein source.'
Source: Menzies School of Health Research
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