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Overcoming indigenous disadvantage - key indicators



Overcoming indigenous disadvantage - key indicators


Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




The OID report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have been actively involved in the development and production of the report. Section 1.1 describes the origins of the report, and section 1.2 describes its key objectives. Section 1.3 provides contextual information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Section 1.4 includes a brief historical narrative to help put the information in the report into context. Section 1.5 summarises some recent developments in government policy that have influenced the report and section 1.6 provides further information on the Steering Committee and the OID Working Group that advises it.


"These reports generally uses the term ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ to describe Australia’s first peoples and ‘non-Indigenous Australians’ to refer to Australians of other backgrounds, except where quoting other sources." Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this publication may contain images of deceased people.

Table of contents

Preliminaries -- Overview chapter -- Introduction -- The framework -- Key themes and interpretation -- COAG targets and headline indicators -- Governance, leadership and culture -- Early child development -- Education and training -- Healthy lives -- Economic participation -- Home environment -- Safe and supportive communities -- Outcomes for Torres Strait Islander people -- Measuring factors that improve outcomes -- Appendices.




Aboriginal Australians -- Ecoomic conditions; Aboriginal Australians -- Social conditions; Public welfare administration -- Australia; Aboriginal Australians -- Services for; Closing the Gap of Indigenous Disadvantage (Australia)

Publisher name

Australia. Productivity Commission for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision

Place of publication

Canberra (A.C.T.)


5 volumes (various pagings) : charts, colour map ; 30 cm.

File type



9781740375917 (Print); 9781740375900 (PDF)


1448-9805 (Print); 2206-9704 (Online)



Copyright owner

Australia. Productivity Commission for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445153; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445154; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445156; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445151

Page content

8.26 OVERCOMING INDIGENOUS DISADVANTAGE 2016 Excess weight increases the risk of an individual developing, among other things, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, some musculoskeletal conditions and some cancers (AIHW 2013). Research suggests that the excess burden of overweight and obesity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians reduces the average life expectancy by between one and three years, accounting for 9 to 17 per cent of the total gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and non-Indigenous Australians (Zhao et al. 2013). Lifestyle factors including a lack of physical activity, sedentary time and poor dietary intake are all well established as major contributors to obesity (NHMRC 2013; Sanders et al. 2015). Good nutrition contributes to quality of life and helps to maintain a healthy body weight, protect against infections, and reduce the risk of chronic disease and premature deaths. Studies have found that people on low incomes tend to purchase foods that provide the most calories for the least cost, such as soft drinks (Brimblecombe and ODea 2009; Brownell and Frieden 2009; Harrison et al. 2007; WHO 2008). Low income, in combination with the high cost of fresh food, contributes to obesity, poor nutrition and the displacement of healthy food choices in remote Aboriginal communities. (Section 4.10 provides more information on incomes.) Regular physical activity and intake of a nutritious diet commensurate with energy requirements can have a protective effect against obesity related diseases (AMA 2005; NHMRC 2013). Section 5.7 provides more information on participation in organised sport, arts or community group activities. Good nutrition is important during pregnancy (see section 6.1, Antenatal care) because pathways to chronic diseases can begin in utero (ODea 2008; WHO 2005). Low birthweight (see section 6.4) is associated with a higher risk of central obesity, type 2 diabetes, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and heart disease in later life. Good nutrition is also important for infant and childhood growth and development and for establishing healthy habits for life (ARACY 2008; Eades et al. 2010; Tomkins 2001; WHO 2008). Inadequate housing in remote areas compounds the issue of providing a well-balanced daily diet (House of Representatives 2009; Lee et al. 2009). In one community, less than six per cent of houses had essential kitchen hardware for the storage and preparation of food (Lee et al. 2009). Section 10.3 provides more information on housing infrastructure. Research shows that it becomes more difficult to get on track towards a healthy weight as age increases, emphasising the importance of early prevention, to avoid the development of overweight and obesity (FaHCSIA 2013). Education has an important role in establishing health behaviours and the readiness of individuals to effect behavioural change (NHMRC 2013).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

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