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A recent study conducted by the University of Sydney has found stomach obesity in Indigenous children is increasing at double the rate of their non-Indigenous peers.
The study, Temporal trends in weight and current weight-related behaviour of Australian Aboriginal school-aged children, was conducted in New South Wales schools and measured the height-to-waist ratios of children aged 5-17 over a 13-year period. While the study found there were no significant differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children's weight, there was when it came to their waist circumference.
Researcher Dr Blythe O'Hara says weight around stomachs can cause serious health problems. '(It) puts them at risk of things like cardio-metabolic ill health, so things like cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions that can come later on in life,' she said.
The study also found that Indigenous children were more likely to have bad eating habits. 'Fifty per cent of non-Aboriginal kids compared to 60 per cent of Aboriginal kids were rewarded for good behaviour with sugary drinks or sugary foods,' said Dr Blythe. 'Non-Aboriginal children were more likely to have breakfast everyday than Indigenous children.'
Source: ABC Indigenous