We want to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders eat more healthily, exercise more, and manage their chronic disease better, to help close the gap.
Indigenous Australians experience a disproportionately high burden of chronic disease compared to other Australians, with an age-adjusted rate of disease and injury burden in Queensland alone two times that of non-Indigenous Queenslanders in 2011.
Non-communicable diseases accounted for 80% of the total disease and injury burden in Indigenous Queenslanders with the leading contributors to the burden being:
- Mental illness (20%)
- Cardiovascular disease (14%)
- Diabetes mellitus (11%)
- Chronic respiratory disease (9%) and
- Cancers (9%).
The three most significant risk factors contributing to this disease burden were high body mass, tobacco consumption and physical inactivity.
Chronic disease management and treatment services continue to be essential given the significant burden of existing chronic disease. However, more attention is now required to be paid to promoting healthy lifestyle choices and to enhancing health literacy to prevent chronic disease developing in this generation, and future generations, of young Indigenous Queenslanders and to stem the increasing demand for more expensive secondary and tertiary care.
As such, Deadly Choices, with the support of the Queensland Government, have developed the Healthy Lifestyle Campaign. This campaign:
- Addresses priorities identified in the Queensland Government’s Making Tracks toward closing the gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders by 2033, including the leading contributors to the Indigenous burden of disease and injury in Queensland and
- Contributes to the outcomes of, and complements, the Queensland Government’s mainstream diabetes and chronic disease program Health for Life!
The campaign involves multi-media advertising, community events, an increase in the number of DC Education Programs being run in schools across Queensland, and continued promotion of the need to get an annual health check at a community controlled health service.