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Associations between Community Environmental-Level Factors and Diet Quality in Geographically Isolated Australian Communities

1
Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5000, Australia
2
Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases Division, Menzies School of Health Research; Darwin 0810, Australia
3
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4001, Australia
4
Health Research Institute, University of Canberra, Canberra, 2617, Australia
5
Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital, The University of Melbourne, Fitzroy 3010, Australia
6
Wardliparingga Aboriginal Health Equity Theme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide 5000, Australia
7
School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5000, Australia
8
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University, Melbourne 3800, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111943
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Influences on Food Behaviour)
Remote Indigenous Australians experience disproportionately poor cardio-metabolic health, which is largely underpinned by adverse dietary intake related to social determinants. Little evidence exists about the community environmental-level factors that shape diet quality in this geographically isolated population group. This study aimed to explore the modifiable environmental-level factors associated with the features of dietary intake that underpin cardio-metabolic disease risk in this population group. Community-level dietary intake data were estimated from weekly store sales data collected throughout 2012 and linked with concurrent social, built, and physical environmental dimension data for 13 remote Indigenous Australian communities in the Northern Territory. Statistical analyses were performed to investigate associations. At the community level, store sales of discretionary foods were lower in communities with greater distance to a neighbouring store (r = −0.45 (p < 0.05)). Sales of sugar-sweetened beverages were lower in communities with higher levels of household crowding (r = −0.55 (p < 0.05)), higher levels of Indigenous unemployment (r = −0.62 (p = 0.02)), and greater distance to neighbouring stores (r = −0.61 (p = 0.004)). Modifiable environmental-level factors may be associated with adverse diet quality in remote Indigenous Australian communities and further investigations of these factors should be considered when developing policies to improve dietary intake quality in geographically isolated populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: cardio-metabolic health; Indigenous Australians; spatial epidemiology cardio-metabolic health; Indigenous Australians; spatial epidemiology
MDPI and ACS Style

Wycherley, T.P.; van der Pols, J.C.; Daniel, M.; Howard, N.J.; O’Dea, K.; Brimblecombe, J.K. Associations between Community Environmental-Level Factors and Diet Quality in Geographically Isolated Australian Communities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1943.

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