Diet is the leading contributor to the burden of disease for all Australians. Dietary improvement is essential to closing the gap in health and life expectancy for Indigenous Australians.
Eating more fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, and consuming dairy foods or alternatives, lean meat and fish, promotes good health and wellbeing and can substantially reduce the risk of diet-related chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and cancer.
Indigenous leaders in remote communities are seeking solutions to support people to choose healthy food and we are working with them to build and provide the best evidence on what works.
The Menzies Nutrition Team aims to contribute to improved nutrition and food security of Indigenous Australians through excellence and leadership in research, training and capacity building. We do this in partnership with communities and other stakeholders including Indigenous community-based research organisations, the Northern Territory Department of Health, store owners and store associations in the Northern Territory and Queensland. Together we create knowledge relevant to the unique environment of Indigenous Australia. We work with the strengths of communities and base our work on the belief that the drivers of food choice are best understood by those who live them day-to-day and that appropriate solutions are best found through working collaboratively.
Our research targets important determinants of poor diet and focuses on policy and practice-relevant interventions to inform national and international efforts to improve nutrition and food security. We align our work with the NOURISHING policy framework to promote healthy diets and reduce obesity making sure our research is relevant to both the communities we work with and the international audience.
We work with the strengths of communities and base our work on the belief that the drivers of food choice are best understood by those who live them day-to-day and that appropriate solutions are best found through working collaboratively.
Together with store owners across remote communities, we track what is bought in the store and provide real-time information in food purchasing to help inform policy and practice to improve healthy eating.
The food environment strongly influences our food choices. We work with communities, stores, industry and schools to find effective strategies to improve diet.