• Aboriginal teenage boys chew through 25 teaspoons of sugar a day. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
New figures released reveal sugar is high on the menu for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, who on average, consumed 18 teaspoons of sugar every single day.
Hannah Hollis, NITV Staff Writer

3 Nov 2016 - 10:46 AM  UPDATED 3 Nov 2016 - 10:53 AM

We've heard it before and we'll hear it again, sugar is killing our community.

New figures today released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that in 2012 and 2013 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2 years and over consumed an average of 75 grams of free sugars per day.

That’s equivalent to 18 teaspoons of white sugar.

Added sugars made up the majority of free sugar intakes with an average of 68 grams = 16 teaspoons, consumed and an additional 7 grams of free sugars came from honey and fruit juice.

Aboriginal people derived an average of 14% of their daily energy from free sugars.

Keep in mind the WHO recommendation says children and adults should limit their intake of free sugars to less than 10% of dietary energy.

Free sugars made the greatest contribution to energy intakes among older children and young adults.

On average, Aboriginal and Torres Straigt Islander People consumed 18 teaspoons of sugar every single day.

Teenage boys were the hardest hit, chewing through 25 teaspoons of sugar a day.

This amount is equivalent to more than two and a half cans of soft drink.

Women aged between 19 and 30 were not far behind with 87 grams of free sugars per day, which contributed 17 per cent to their total energy intake.

More than 40% of the total daily energy intake for our people came from junk food.

87% of free sugars were consumed from energy dense, nutrient-poor ‘discretionary’ foods and beverages. 

This was higher for those living in rural areas compared to those living in remote communities.

Dr Josephine Gwynn from Sydney University says nutrition has completely fallen off the policy agenda in Australia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

"It’s not mentioned in the closing the gap agenda, there's no dedicated nutritionist workforce amongst the Aboriginal community and it's something that has not been acted on... it’s way overdue to be acted on and needs to be addressed promptly."

Nutritionist, Nicole Turner says sugar is killing our community. 

67% of all free sugars consumed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people came from beverages, led by soft drinks, sports and energy drinks followed by fruit and vegetable juices and drinks.

People assume that people should know this but a lot of people that haven't had a long history in education or at schools and don't know this important information... they're unaware of chronic diseases and things that are killing our families."

Amanda Lee, who wrote Australia's dietry guidelines and she's spent a lot of time with Indigenous communities and says wider Australia could learn a thing or two.

"In the 1980's we were doing food system mapping with people and they're really knowledgeable, its part of traditional food ways to understand all the way that foods and life are inter-related in stories and if non Aboriginal Australia could listen to the answers that are known in these communites, we would all end up being much healthier." 

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