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Health & Nutrition in ALPA Communites

Health and Nutrition in Communities At the national level for 2005–2007, the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous life expectancy was 11.5 years for males and 9.7 years for females(1). This gap in life expectancy, with the principal causes of early death resulting from chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases(2), has lead ALPA to focus on proactive ways to assist the communities we operate in.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are more 'vulnerable' to poor health due to inadequate nutrition than other population groups in Australia (2). Several factors underline this increased risk including low income and other social and environmental situations. Lack of food security is often mentioned as a barrier to improving health outcomes (2). Food security can in essence focus on three key aspects: Food availability, food access and food use (2-3). Through a well-supported Health and Nutrition Strategy, appropriate management procedures and policies, along with community empowerment and involvement, ALPA can help work towards greater food security in the communities we operate in. As a consequence of this, we can help work towards increasing better health outcomes.

Health and Nutrition in CommunitiesALPA Member communities benefit through ALPA's Community Benevolent Funds. ALPA is involved in several benevolent activities, with ALPA's Health and Nutrition Strategy being one of the largest. The Health and Nutrition Strategy, involving an internal Store Nutrition Policy, focuses on improving food supply to our communities without being paternalistic. ALPA recognises that not only is a good food supply important along with solid community partnerships, but also health promotion and education delivered to our customers of the fundamentals of good nutrition to help steer consumer choice.

For more information on health and nutrition in ALPA, please contact our Nutritionist at nutrition@alpa.asn.au.

Reference List:

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples cat. no. 4704.0 2010.
  2. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition Working Party. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition Strategy and Action Plan: a summary 2000-2010. 2001.
  3. World Health Organisation. Food Security, Avilable from http://www.who.int/trade/glossary/story028/en/ accessed 31st May 2011.