Less than one in ten Australians eat enough vegetables each day, and that’s while most of us could walk to a nearby supermarket and find it well stocked with quality fresh produce at reasonable prices. Eating well is hard work in any context.
Most remote Aboriginal communities, however, are what the experts call ‘obesogenic’ environments. Food is prohibitively expensive and fresh food is sometimes of poor quality; substandard housing has only rudimentary cooking and food storage facilities; there are few opportunities to learn cooking skills and there aren’t enough recreational facilities. This combination of factors conspire to produce disproportionately high rates of obesity in remote communities, which in turn leads to disproportionate chronic disease and eventually,
Yet if we can get healthy food at affordable prices to remote communities, at the same time as educating people about healthy eating choices, we can sow the seeds of transformational change. If we can do so in partnership with community members to define healthy eating goals for their community, and do this in a way that rallies the communities around healthy eating goals, we will accelerate this change – in the here and now of healthy, vital communities and down the track, via major reductions in rates of chronic disease.