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Date posted: 1 May 2014
This year's Australian Health Promotion Scholarship recipient, Rochelle Tobin is working with the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA (PHAIWA) and Diabetes WA to promote healthier beverage choices in two remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley. This project was developed in response to the high rates of dental caries, type 2 diabetes and overweight and obesity, much of which is related to high sugar consumption, particularly in the form of sugar sweetened beverages.
Project strategies include the instillation of metered water coolers in close proximity to the community stores and training of store staff on production promotion and placement techniques that promote water as an alternative to sugar sweetened beverages.
The store turnover method is being used to estimate beverage consumption for the five months before and the five months after the intervention. The store turnover method involves analysing store beverage invoices to estimate consumption. Information on individual community factors affection store sales is collected to identify potential confounding factors. In-store observations will be undertaken to identify which groups within the community are purchasing sugar sweetened beverages.
Rochelle travelled to Broome with Asha Singh from Diabetes WA in March to visit both the communities. All community members the women spoke with were very concerned about the rising rates of diet related diseases and were excited by the novel idea of installing water bubblers to tackle the issue.
Asha and Rochelle were impressed by some of the healthy lifestyle strategies that were already undertaken in communities including water only schools, communities gardens and free water being supplied by stores for local sporting events.
Source: Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA