• Open Access

Apparent dietary intake in remote Aboriginal communities

Authors


*Senior Research Officer, Menzies School of Health Research, PO Box 41096, Casuarina, NT 0810. Fax (089) 27 5187.

Abstract

Abstract: Apparent per capita food and nutrient intake in six remote Australian Aboriginal communities using the ‘store-turnover’ method is described. The method is based on the analysis of community-store food invoices. The face validity of the method supports the notion that, under the unique circumstances of remote Aboriginal communities, the turnover of foodstuffs from the community store is a useful measure of apparent dietary intake for the community as a whole. In all Aboriginal communities studied, the apparent intake of energy, sugars and fat was excessive, while the apparent intake of dietary fibre and several nutrients, including folic acid, was low. White sugar, flour, bread and meat provided in excess of 50 per cent of the apparent total energy intake. Of the apparent high fat intake, fatty meats contributed nearly 40 per cent in northern coastal communities and over 60 per cent in central desert communities. Sixty per cent of the apparent high intake of sugars was derived from sugar per se in both regions. Compared with national Australian apparent consumption data, intakes of sugar, white flour and sweetened carbonated beverages were much higher in Aboriginal communities, and intakes of wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables were much lower. Results of the store-turnover method have important implications for community-based nutrition intervention programs.

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