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Related publications


Closing the Gap Clearinghouse (2012)

Healthy lifestyle programs for physical activity and nutrition.

Canberra: Closing the Gap Clearinghouse

This report assesses the evidence regarding the effectiveness of physical activity and nutrition intervention programs in reducing the incidence of chronic diseases in Indigenous communities. The report also describes the burden of lifestyle-related chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease) affecting Indigenous Australians and assesses strategies that have the potential to be affective.

The authors conclude from the evidence that healthy lifestyle programs can help to combat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. In particular, the programs that were found to be most effective were community-based projects that were initiated and managed by the communities in which they were run. Individual, family and group-based Indigenous healthy lifestyle projects were found to have positive effects in the short term (up to two years). It is not known whether these effects are sustained in the long term as few programs have both the resources and impetus to continue long term.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (2011)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health performance framework: 2010 report.

Canberra: Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Department of Health and Ageing

This is the third report developed under the auspice of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council to measure progress against the National strategic framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health as well as the more recent measures introduced under Closing the gap national partnerships.

The performance framework reports on the three tiers of health:

  • health status and outcomes: this includes measures of prevalence of disease or injury, human function, life expectancy and wellbeing
  • measures of the health determinants: this includes socioeconomic status, environmental factors and health behaviours
  • health system performance: this includes effectiveness, responsiveness, accessibility and sustainability.
Major findings of the report include:
  • a significant decline in Indigenous deaths due to avoidable causes
  • narrowing of the mortality gap
  • reduction in infant mortality
  • chronic diseases are a continuing concern, contributing to two thirds of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
  • there were slight reductions in literacy and numeracy gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students
  • risky behaviours, such as smoking and lack of physical activity, were continuing concerns among Indigenous people
  • access to, and utilisation of medical services is less than expected given higher levels of illness
  • access to medical services is more difficult in remote than non-remote areas.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Department of Finance and Deregulation (2010)

Strategic review of Indigenous expenditure.

Canberra: Australian Government


Council of Australian Governments (2009)

National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.

Canberra: Council of Australian Governments


Medibank Private (2008)

The cost of physical inactivity.

Melbourne: Medibank Private

Moodie AR (2008)

Australia: the healthiest country by 2020.

Medical Journal of Australia; 189(10): 588-590

Quantum Consulting Australia (2008)

Indigenous sport and culture plan for the communities of the Kullarri region, the Western Desert region and the Tjurabalan region (COAG East Kimberley Trial Site).

Perth, WA: Western Australian Department of Sport and Recreation


Department of Health and Ageing (2007)

National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2003-2013: Australian Government implementation plan 2007-2013.

Canberra: Australian Government

The Australian Government Implementation Plan was developed by the Department of Health and Ageing in consultation with all relevant Australian Government agencies and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council. It has a strong emphasis on a whole of government approach to addressing the key priorities identified.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


World Health Organization (2004)

Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health.

Geneva: World Health Organization

The global strategy on diet, physical activity and health has a primary objective to promote and protect health by guiding the development of an enabling environment for sustainable actions at individual, community, national and global levels. This in turn will lead to reduced disease and death rates related to unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. These actions support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The four main objectives of the Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health are:

  • to reduce the risk of factors for non-communicable diseases that stem from unhealthy diets and physical inactivity
  • to increase the overall awareness and understanding of the influences of diet and physical activity on health
  • to encourage the development, strengthening and implementation of global, regional, national and community policies and action plans to improve diets and increase physical activity that are sustainable, comprehensive, and actively engage all sectors, including civil society, the private sector and the media
  • to monitor scientific data and key influences on diet and physical activity, to support research and evaluation
  • strengthen the human resources needed in this domain to enhance and sustain health

The strategies actions will be based on the best available scientific evidence and the cultural context and will be implemented and monitored with WHO's support and leadership. However, a multisectoral approach that utilises the combined resources and expertise of all global stakeholders will be essential for sustained progress. Changes in patterns of diet and physical activity will be gradual, and national strategies will need a clear plan for long-term and sustained disease-preventive measures. On the other hand, changes in risk factors and in incidence of non communicable diseases may occur quite quickly when effective interventions are made. National plans should therefore also have achievable short-term and intermediate goals.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Last updated: 19 July 2017
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