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Aboriginal health staff at Moree Community Health Centre were approached by community members to develop a program which would support them in their endeavours to live a healthier lifestyle. The first program, trialled in early 2007, consisted of weekly nutrition education sessions. This then developed into alternating exercise classes and nutrition programs. The first aqua aerobic program was developed in 2007, in partnership with NSW Sport and Recreation.
The group has recently asked for the inclusion of healthy cooking classes to supplement what they have learned about nutrition with the dietitian, and it is hoped that a cookbook will be developed from recipes supplied from the participants.
The short-term aim of the project is to promote healthy lifestyle options through education and low impact exercise, and to provide participants with the educational tools to sustain a healthy lifestyle in a culturally appropriate manner. The long-term aim of this project is to contribute to a decline in chronic disease and associated risk factors within the community.
An integral part of the program's development and success has been attributed to consultations between participants and the dietitian, diabetic educator and AHEOs about future topics and activities.
Abstract adapted from Australian Resource Centre for Healthcare Innovations
Hunter New England Area Health Service
Ph: (02) 4921 4041