Increase in prevalence of obesity and diabetes and decrease in plasma cholesterol in a central Australian Aboriginal community

Increase in prevalence of obesity and diabetes and decrease in plasma cholesterol in a central Australian Aboriginal community Journal Article

Medical Journal of Australia

  • Author(s): McDermott, Robyn, Rowley, Kevin G, O'Dea, Kerin, Lee, Amanda J, Knight, Sabina
  • Published: 2000
  • Volume: 172
  • ISBN: 0025-729X

Abstract: Objective To document change in prevalence of obesity, diabetes and other cardiovascular diease (CVD) risk factors, and trends in dietary macronutrient intake, over an eight-year period in a rural Aboriginal community in central Australia. Design Sequential cross-sectional community surveys in 1987, 1991 and 1995. Subjects All adults (15 years and over) in the community were invited to participate. In 1987, 1991 and 1995, 335 (87% of eligible adults), 331 (76%) and 304 (68%), respectively, were surveyed. Main outcome measures Body mass index and waist:hip ratio; blood glucose level and glucose tolerance; fasting total and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels; and apparent dietary intake (estimated by the store turnover method). Intervention A community-based nutrition awareness and healthy lifestyle program, 1988-1990. Results At the eight-year follow-up, the odds ratios (95% CIs) for CVD risk factors relative to baseline were obesity, 1.84 (1.28-2.66); diabetes, 1.83 (1.11-3.03); hypercholesterolaemia, 0.29 (0.20-0.42); and dyslipidaemia (high triglyceride plus low HDL cholesterol level), 4.54 (2.84-7.29). In younger women (15-24 years), there was a trebling in obesity prevalence and a four- to fivefold increase in diabetes prevalence. Store turnover data suggested a relative reduction in the consumption of refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. Conclusion Interventions targeting nutritional factors alone are unlikely to greatly alter trends towards increasing prevalences of obesity and diabetes. In communities where healthy food choices are limited, the role of regular physical activity in improving metabolic fitness may also need to be emphasised.

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McDermott, Robyn, Rowley, Kevin G, O'Dea, Kerin, Lee, Amanda J, Knight, Sabina, 2000, Increase in prevalence of obesity and diabetes and decrease in plasma cholesterol in a central Australian Aboriginal community, Volume:172, Journal Article, viewed 23 May 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14903.

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