Indigenous kids missing out on fruit and vegetables

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 20th November 2017

New research has suggested that fruit and vegetables are luxuries for young Aboriginal children in remote locations of Australia with a third missing out on such foods.

The study, published in Volume 74 of the Nutrition and Dietetics journal, also found one in four young aboriginal children in remote Australia had consumed sweet drinks the day before the study. Approximately 20 per cent had eaten processed meats.

Researcher, Dympna Leonard, and her colleagues, studied the diets of 227 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged six to 24 months on remote areas of northern Australia.

Ms Leonard said although they found a lack of fruit and vegetables in diets, they discovered high rates of breastfeeding with 80 per cent of children under 12 months of age breastfed.

“Another positive of our findings was that nutritious choices like fruit and bush tucker were more often reported in ‘pay week’, which suggests that families like to get these foods when they can afford them” Leonard said.

Poor diet starts young

Leonard reported that poor nutrition in Aboriginal children is beginning from when they first start eating solid foods.

“Poor diet choice such as high-sugar drinks and snacks, have also been reported in a study of the diet of non-Indigenous young children, but only a few (4 per cent) of those non-indigenous children had no fruit or vegetables on the day prior to the survey, compared with 33 per cent in our study,” Leonard said.


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