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Date posted: 11 January 2016
An obesity clinic will be introduced to Canberra's primary Aboriginal health service this year in an attempt to stem weight problems and diabetes rates in the community.
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service will launch the clinic as part of a strategy to encourage patients to adopt healthier eating practices.
During the last financial year, Dietitian and Diabetes Educator visits made up 563 of the 2108 allied health consultations at Winnunga, while another 1261 visits were made to the smoking cessation and Healthy Lifestyle Officer.
Chief Executive, Julie Tongs, said targeting obesity and nutrition was not a simple process, with many clients suffering comorbidity, or weight gain combined with mental health issues.
'There might not just be mental health, but also cases of alcohol or drug addiction,' she said.
Ms Tongs said low-nutrient fast foods were often a more attractive option for many people who were both time-poor and on low incomes.
'Sometimes it's easier to eat takeaway or fast food, and often cheaper, but we have to get out the message that you have to think about nutrition and vegies,' she said.
'For us, it's about preventing the kids from getting the health problems in the first place. We know we've got to manage the cases we've already got, but we also need to try and prevent it at that age,' Ms Tongs said.
Source: The Canberra Times