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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
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spacing1What do we know about nutrition among Indigenous people?

If a person eats healthy food they are more likely to be healthy [1]. A healthy diet includes:

Having access to healthy foods can be a challenge for some Indigenous people who live in remote locations because food that has to be shipped over long distances is not always available, or because fresh foods may be expensive [1].

The 2012-13 AATSIHS found that less than one-half of Indigenous people reported eating the recommended amount of fruit every day (43%) and only one-in-twenty people (5%) ate the recommended amount of vegetables every day [2][3]. Women were more likely than men to have eaten an adequate amount of fruit (44% and 41% respectively) and vegetables (7% and 3% respectively) each day.

Levels of fruit and vegetable consumption were different for Indigenous people living in remote and non-remote areas; one-half of Indigenous people living in remote areas consumed the recommended number of servings of fruit each day compared with two-in-five of people in non-remote areas. Conversely, Indigenous people living in non-remote areas were more likely than those in remote areas to consume adequate amounts of vegetables (5% compared with 3%) each day.

Information about milk consumption, salt consumption, food security or the influence of other factors on dietary behaviour are not yet available from the 2012-13 AATSIHS, but the 2004-2005 NATSIHS found that most Indigenous people drank whole milk, and only around one-in-six Indigenous people drank reduced fat or skim milk [2]. About one-half of Indigenous people usually added salt to their food after it was cooked.


  1. National Health and Medical Research Council (2000) Nutrition in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: an information paper. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Australia, 2004-05. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014) Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey: first results, Australia, 2012-13: Table 2 [data cube]. Retrieved 26 March 2014 from,%20by%20remoteness%20area%202012-13%20-%20australia.xls&4727.0.55.001&Data%20Cubes&9F3D9B7052520B1BCA257CA6000E31B5&0&2012-13&26.03.2014&Latest
Last updated: 25 September 2014
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