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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1766: Food Insecurity among Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

17 Aug 2018

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1766: Food Insecurity among Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081766

Authors:
Jeromey B. Temple
Joanna Russell

It is well established that Indigenous populations are at a heightened risk of food insecurity. Yet, although populations (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) are ageing, little is understood about the levels of food insecurity experienced by older Indigenous peoples. Using Australian data, this study examined the prevalence and correlates of food insecurity among older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Using nationally representative data, we employed ordinal logistic regression models to investigate the association between socio-demographic characteristics and food insecurity. We found that 21% of the older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population were food insecure, with 40% of this group exposed to food insecurity with food depletion and inadequate intake. This places this population at a 5 to 7-fold risk of experiencing food insecurity relative to their older non-Indigenous peers. Measures of geography, language and low socio-economic status were highly associated with exposure to food insecurity. Addressing food insecurity offers one pathway to reduce the disparity in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians. Policies that consider both remote and non-remote Australia, as well as those that involve Aboriginal people in their design and implementation are needed to reduce food insecurity.

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