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Study to fight food insecurity in Indigenous communities

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Working with communities to improve food security among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will be the focus of a significant University of Queensland study.

The three-year research project was designed in conjunction with the Apunipima Cape York Health Council and the Central Australian Congress.

Dr Megan Ferguson, researcher at UQ, explained that growing poverty and high food costs were key causes of food insecurity for 31 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote communities, although research suggests this may be as high as 62 per cent.

"Food insecurity leads to hunger, anxiety, poor health, including under-nutrition, obesity and disease, and inter-generational poverty," Dr Ferguson said.

"We will be working with communities to identify effective mechanisms to improve food security and enable healthy diets in remote Australia."

This would be done through a community-led framework and knowledge-sharing solutions.

"Pregnant and breastfeeding women, and carers of children aged under five, will be involved in the study in Central Australia and Cape York," Dr Ferguson said.

Menzies School of Health Research, Monash University, James Cook University and Canada's Dalhousie University are also involved in the study.

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