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Health risk factors

Diet

Poor diet is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, tooth decay and other conditions associated with overweight or obesity. Unhealthy diets are considered those that are low in fibre and high in salt, fats and sugar (AIHW 2018).

Fruit and vegetable consumption

The National Health and Medical Research Council publishes guidelines for healthy eating. In 2018–19, among Indigenous children aged 2 to 17:

  • 65% (187,500) ate the recommended daily amount of fruit, and 6% (17,700) ate the recommended daily amount of vegetables.
  • 6% (16,700) met both the daily fruit and vegetable intake guidelines (Figure HR 11).
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In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians aged 18 and over:

  • 39% (187,100) ate the recommended daily amount of fruit, and 4% (20,100) ate the recommended daily amount of vegetables.
  • 3% (12,100) met the guidelines for both daily fruit and vegetable consumption.
  • 99% (230,900) of males and 96% (243,200) of females did not meet the guidelines for daily fruit and/or vegetable consumption (Figure HR 12).
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Sugar-sweetened or diet drink consumption

In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians:

  • 61% (176,800) of children aged 2–17 consumed sugar-sweetened drinks and 9% (26,900) consumed diet drinks at least once a week.
  • 60% (292,900) of adults aged 18 and over consumed sugar-sweetened drinks and 19% (94,400) consumed diet drinks at least once a week.
  • Those aged 25–34 were more likely to consume diet drinks (22% or 26,200) at least once a week than other age groups.
  • Those aged 18–24 (76% or 80,100) were more likely to consume sugary drinks at least once a week than other age groups (Figure HR 13).
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