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Obesity in the Indigenous population of Australia

Obesity is described as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or more. (1) It has become a dire issue in Australia, having the highest prevalence of obesity globally, (2) and affects both Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Accounting for 2.5% of the population, Australian Indigenous people are those that are accepted in community as having Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. (3) As with many aspects of Indigenous health however, there is a characteristic difference of incidences between the two population groups, with numerous underlying causes of obesity specific for the Indigenous people. Acting as a risk factor for several chronic diseases, obesity is of particular concern for societys health, and as such, various government policies aim to combat the problem in Indigenous communities. Many similarities and stark differences can be noted when comparing the incidence of obesity between the Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous population pools. Results of the 2004-5 Australian National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey suggest that a greater proportion were of Indigenous background than non-Indigenous. Overall, it was found that 62% of the Indigenous population aged 15 and over was classified as having an

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