2013, pp 97-112
Date: 11 Sep 2012

Selecting Interventions for Food Security in Remote Indigenous Communities

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Abstract

Improving the food security of people living in remote Indigenous communities is an identified priority of Australian Governments. As Indigenous Australians suffer a disproportionate burden from diet-related diseases, improved food security will result in health gains. This chapter describes a practical approach to developing and selecting interventions to improve food security in remote Indigenous communities. Food security interventions aim to achieve a secure, sustainable and healthy food supply to remote Indigenous communities with increased purchase and consumption of a healthy diet by community members as the outcome. Therefore, the menu of interventions must address both supply and demand issues. Policy makers need to take three simple, yet difficult steps when choosing which interventions are suitable to improve public health. Firstly, define the problem; secondly, consider ‘what could or should be done?’; and thirdly, appraise a full range of intervention options to choose the most effective in the real world.

The types of public health interventions that could be selected to improve food security are numerous, from regulatory options, to mass media campaigns, to one-on-one health ‘education’ in a clinical setting. Sustained action across all sectors and governments are required to address the structural and systemic problems that have resulted in poor food security for many remote Indigenous communities.