Which Practice is Most Likely to Make People Sick

This do sheet explores food insecurity in Australia with a focus on identifying those almost likely to endure it as well as considering its impacts.

Whilst often thought of in terms of third world countries, food insecurity is too prevalent in sure groups within wealthy countries like Australia. This practise sheet is designed to assist kid and family services to address nutrient insecurity amongst their clientele.

Key letters

  • There are three key components of food insecurity: inadequate access to nutrient, inadequate supply and the inappropriate use of food (due east.1000., inappropriate preperation of nutrient). The prevalence of food insecurity amongst the Australian population is estimated at 5% (Burns, 2004).
  • Sure groups in Australia are more susceptible to nutrient insecurity – including unemployed people, single parent households, depression-income earners, rental households and young people (Burns, 2004).
  • Indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and socially isolated people may also feel food insecurity at a higher rate (Strategic Inter-Governmental Nutrition Alliance of the National Public Wellness Partnership [SIGNAL NPHP], 2001).
  • The reasons why people experience nutrient insecurity include: a lack of resources (including financial resource and other resources such as transport); lack of access to nutritious nutrient at affordable prices, lack of access to food due to geographical isolation; and lack of motivation or knowledge nearly a nutritious diet.
  • Food insecurity is a concern for child and family services organisations as information technology can bear on negatively upon outcomes for children in the brusque and long-term – including children’south academic power and health issues including obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Child and family services in Commonwealth of australia can play a key role in improving the food security of their clients via a range of practical measures also equally referrals to services such as fiscal counselling that address underlying factors which may contribute to food insecurity.

What is food insecurity?

Whereas food security is broadly divers as “access past all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life” (Radimer, 2002), food insecurity exists “whenever the availability of nutritionally acceptable and rubber foods or the ability to acquire acceptable nutrient in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain” (Radimer, 2002). There are three key components of food security (World Health Organisation, 2011):

  1. Food access: the chapters to learn and consume a nutritious nutrition, including:
    • the ability to buy and transport food;
    • home storage, preparation and cooking facilities;
    • cognition and skills to make advisable choices;
    • and time and mobility to shop for and set up food.
  2. Food availability: the supply of food inside a community affecting food security of individuals, households or an entire population, specifically:
    • location of nutrient outlets;
    • availability of food within stores; and
    • price, quality and variety of available food (Nolan, Rickard-Bell, Mohsin, & Williams, 2006).
  3. Nutrient use: the advisable employ of nutrient based on knowledge of basic diet and care.1

There are iii different “levels” of food security (run across Effigy ane, based upon Burns, 2004):

  • secure;
  • insecure merely without hunger – where there may exist anxiety or uncertainty nearly access to food or inappropriate use of food (i.e., poor nutritional quality) just regular consumption of nutrient occurs; and
  • insecure with extreme hunger – where meals are frequently missed or inadequate (Burns, 2004).

Figure 1: The Food Security Continuum

According to the United nations World Nutrient Summit in 1996, food security is a correct for all people (Un Nutrient & Agriculture Organization, 1996). Yet conservative estimates suggest that upwards of 5% of Australians experience nutrient insecurity, 40% of those at a severe level (Burns, 2004; Temple, 2008).2

Who experiences food insecurity in Commonwealth of australia and why?

According to the 1995 Australian National Nutrition Survey and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellness Performance Framework (information 2004-05) certain groups feel food insecurity at a higher rate than the general population (Browne, Laurence, & Thorpe, 2009; Burns, 2004). These groups include:

  • Indigenous people (24%);
  • unemployed people (23%);
  • single parent households (23%);
  • low-income earners (20%);
  • rental households (20%); and
  • immature people (15%).

Other people who are susceptible to nutrient insecurity include (Betoken NPHP, 2001):

  • some culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups including refugees;
  • people who practise non take access to private and/or public transport;
  • people who misuse alcohol and tobacco; and
  • people who are disabled, unwell or frail.

The reasons why some of these groups feel nutrient insecurity are outlined below.

Indigenous populations

Ethnic populations may be vulnerable to food insecurity, with 30% of Indigenous adults reporting being worried about going without food (Betoken NPHP, 2001). Rates of food insecurity are highest in remote communities (Browne et al., 2009).three
However, Indigenous people living in urban environments are also vulnerable to nutrient insecurity due to poor income, household infrastructure and overcrowding, access to transport, storage and cooking facilities (Browne et al., 2009).

In remote locations, nutrient supply is often limited to a “full general store” that is not always open, and is oft expensive, with a 26% higher price of a “basket of food” in remote community stores when compared with a Darwin supermarket (Saethre, 2005).

Coupled with the loftier percentage of residents in remote communities earning a low income, Ethnic people must spend a greater percentage of their income on meals than not-Indigenous Australians – at to the lowest degree 35% according to Northern Territory Government statistics (Saethre, 2005). Much of this is spent on set-made meals from fast food outlets that may vary in nutritional quality. However they are oft more convenient as these outlets may be open up longer hours than the general store (Saethre, 2005).

Furthermore, other resources may be limited in remote communities – such as a working stove or oven. One survey of almost four chiliad Ethnic homes in the Northern Territory found that only 38% had facilities such as stoves, ovens, running h2o and adequate storage for food (Bailie & Runcie, 2001). This further encourages a reliance on ready made, and ofttimes nutritionally poor foods.

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CALD groups

Some CALD groups have also been found to experience food insecurity due to a difference from their traditional diets when relocating to Australia, with a failure to take upwardly nutritious alternatives (Point NPHP, 2001). People who have recently relocated to Australia may lack nutritional education virtually nutrient available in their local supermarket, which may vary dramatically from what was available in their state of origin.

Low-income families

Economical barriers to food security are common and low-income families often feel challenges in purchasing adequate quantities of food, too as appropriately good for you food (SIGNAL NPHP, 2001; Turrell & Kavanagh, 2005). Concerns about the college costs of food sometimes experienced by low income families and people living in remote areas (especially Indigenous remote communities) mean that food insecurity is loftier amongst low-income people and families (Bespeak NPHP, 2001).

Middle income families who have recently had a drop in income (i.e., through chore loss) or who have high living expenses may also feel nutrient insecurity due to a lack of available funds to classify to food purchases (Burns, 2004).

Lack of access to private and/or public ship

Other barriers such as lack of car ownership in loftier population areas and/or poorly organised public transport to retail centres may confine disadvantaged people to buying food locally where at that place may be less choice and college prices (Point NPHP, 2001). Geographical isolation may also contribute to food insecurity, peradventure forth with inadequate transport. Remote areas may have fewer large supermarkets forcing residents to be dependent on smaller shops which stock a limited range of foods, sometimes of lower quality, and often, higher prices (Turrell, Hewitt, Patterson, Oldenburg, & Gould, 2002).

People suffering illness, frailness or other forms of social isolation

People suffering illness, frailness or other forms of social isolation may also experience food insecurity regardless of their financial means, due to an disability to either buy or prepare adequate food as a result of their condition. Similarly, people with substance abuse conditions may non buy or gear up adequate food for themselves or their families, either considering their material resources are spent on drugs or alcohol, or simply because they are non operation adequately to attend to these tasks (Bespeak NPHP, 2001; Burns, 2004.)

Why is food security an important issue for child and family unit services?

The prevalence of food insecurity amongst the Australian population (a conservative estimate of 5%) (Burns, 2004) suggests that child and family services are likely to run into families that are experiencing this trouble. Many kid and family unit services will be supporting children and families who fit one or more of the characteristics that make them more vulnerable to nutrient insecurity (e.chiliad., unemployed, single parent households and living in rented accommodation) and, as such, these services are more likely to run across clients who experience nutrient insecurity.

In Australia, food security is considered to be an important social determinant of health and a meaning public health issue at national and state levels (Nolan et al., 2006). Nutrient insecurity is, however, especially important to child and family unit services considering of the negative impact food security tin accept on parents and children, both in the short and long term.

For example, food security has been shown to touch academic achievement in children, both in ability upon kickoff at schoolhouse, and in learning over the school year (Wikicki & Jemison, 2003). Food insecurity is especially relevant to the current “obesity epidemic” amongst Australian children (Gill et al., 2009) as Australian data indicate that the take chances of obesity is higher in those who experience (mild to moderate) nutrient insecurity (Burns, 2004). While this might seem casuistic, it is due to the tendency of food insecure people to purchase cheaper food, which is often much lower in nutritional content and higher in fat, salt and sugar content and refined carbohydrates (starch) (Burns, 2004).

Food insecurity is also associated with general poor health, and may worsen other health inequalities that are apparent in disadvantaged groups such every bit a college mortality rate, and college rates of coronary eye illness, blazon-2 diabetes and some cancers (Turrell & Kavanagh, 2005). Furthermore, poor diet is associated with low nativity weight and ill health in infancy and childhood (Browne et al., 2009).

Nutritional challenges

The nutritional aspect of food security is often overlooked in favor of simply ensuring people are eating regular meals. However, an important part of food security is access to “nutritionally adequate and safe foods” (Radimer, 2002). Public wellness recommendations for an adult to eat five serves each of breads/cereals and vegetables, as well every bit 2 serves of fruit per twenty-four hour period are frequently not feasible for those who are welfare dependent or earning a low income. International studies report that healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food, and local studies have shown that people in welfare or depression-income categories are less likely to buy and eat healthy nutrient (Kettings, Sinclair, & Voevodin, 2009).

In their report into the costs of a healthy diet, Kettings et al. (2009) found that welfare dependent families needed to spend at least 33% of their weekly income to eat co-ordinate to public wellness recommendations if they bought generic brands. For families earning an “average” wage, 25% of the income of a unmarried parent household and 18% of a dual parent household was required to meet these eating guidelines. They concluded that at a cost of 33% of the household income, healthy nutrient habits are economically challenging for welfare dependent families.

An of import aspect of food security for families is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding tin be an effective method of reducing food insecurity for infants especially for disadvantaged families who may non exist able to afford sufficient amounts of infant formula to adequately meet infant dietary needs. Australia’s dietary guidelines recommend that infants are breastfed until 6 months of age (NHMRC, 2003).

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One of the many ways of addressing food insecurity is via the distribution of “nutrient parcels” through community service agencies. Nonetheless, anecdotal reports are that these parcels tend to be stocked with not-perishable goods, due to the storage capabilities of the agencies involved.*  As a outcome, those families receiving food parcels miss out on fresh nutrient, which can be helpful in maintaining a balanced nutrition that meets recommended dietary guidelines. It is important to note, however, that food parcels can free up some of the nutrient budget, which may be then directed to purchasing fresh goods.

Also, as there is increasing force per unit area on the customs services sector to respond to growing disadvantage, agencies and workers may need additional support, such as additional resource and training to ensure that clients’ nutritional requirements are met (Betoken NPHP, 2001).

*.Nutrient banks—organisations that receive donations of food and have large storage capabilities—may exist able to supply customs service agencies with fresh foods on a regular basis. Aboriginal customs, meet Early Learnings Telstra Foundation Research Report (Higgins, 2005).

Practice considerations

These practise considerations are general principles based upon lessons from research and do designed to provide additional guidance to service providers almost working with individuals and families experiencing food insecurity.

How can services support families experiencing food insecurity?

Measures to address nutrient security include short, medium or long-term solutions. Some services can directly help families in the brusque-term by providing food parcels, food vouchers and/or meals. Most services will have some information available about local services that can provide these services.

Every bit many services will already be providing curt-term back up, the following exercise considerations focus upon medium and long-term measures for supporting families who experience nutrient insecurity. Policy measures are as well considered.


  • Nutritional pedagogy is frequently poor among disadvantaged populations (Burns, 2004) and every bit such whilst the quantity of food supplies may be adequate in these households, their quality may be poor and fail to meet the nutritional needs of family unit members, particularly children.
  • Nutritional education in languages other than English language may be necessary for some CALD groups (The Smith Family unit & Fairfield W Chief School, 2009).
  • Simple techniques like planning meals in advance and writing a shopping listing with simply required ingredients help to continue food costs lower and ensure value for coin. Planning meals ahead also helps to reduce dependency on expensive and frequently unhealthy accept-away meals.
  • Lack of familiarity with food preparation and/or ingredients may be a deterrent to the training of fresh salubrious meals. Basic nutrient preparation techniques and a guided shopping exercise tin can help to reduce these barriers and improve cognition and confidence in food training.
  • A familiarity of public wellness recommendations for healthy eating is essential for staff dealing with food insecure clients. Information technology may also be useful to brainwash clients and help them to implement these recommendations through suggested meal plans or other practical examples.
Questions to consider
  • Are there any services in the local community that can provide parents with food budgeting advice and/or offer food purchasing and grooming classes? In some localities, community kitchens these types of educational opportunities along with facilities to communally gear up and share meals (see Frankston Community Health Service, 2009).
  • If your service provides nutrient parcels or meals direct to clients, are staff confident almost their knowledge of diet? Could professional person development opportunities involve nutritional instruction?
  • Are clients provided with information about good for you eating? Is this information presented in a fashion that is attainable to clients (e.g., plain English)? Is information bachelor in languages other than English?


  • Families who do not have access to individual and/or public transport can accept difficulties getting their grocery shopping domicile. Another barrier for some families is a lack of adequate refrigeration. Both these factors can as well impede a family unit’s ability to purchase or maintain the quality of fresh food.
  • Buying groceries in majority is a practiced way to save money on goods, nonetheless this tin oftentimes be difficult for low-income families who lack the initial funds to outlay on bulk purchases. Lack of access to transport and lack of adequate refrigeration tin further restrict a family’s power to purchase food in bulk.
Questions to consider
  • Is it possible for your service to subsidise the dwelling house delivery of groceries for clients who accept difficulties with transport? Is there another service in the community that tin can provide clients with this support? Do y’all know of supermarkets or other shops in the local area that provide gratuitous home delivery for customers?
  • Tin can your service assist clients to obtain refrigeration appliances? Is there another service in the customs that tin provide clients with this support?
  • Community kitchens could organise “buy in bulk” services for multiple families. This allows families to share the price of ownership in majority. Is there are a community kitchen in the local customs that provides this type of service?

Information and referral

A range of services and resource in the local community can exist useful to families experiencing food insecurity. Providing data and/or referral to these services can help these families. These resources may include:

  • community gardens: plots of land set aside inside a community where community members may grow plants and/or vegetables and fruit. Community garden projects can be a cost effective and enjoyable way for clients and their families to acquire fresh food;
  • school “breakfast clubs”:
    offer morning meals to students whose families may be financially disadvantaged or suffer some other form of nutrient insecurity;
  • f
    inancial counselling or other services:
    may assistance to address long term bug which play a major role in food insecurity;
  • lists of local markets or lower cost retail options for food purchasing:
    may aid clients to get better value out of their food upkeep.

Policy measures

It is important to consider policy measures that may impact on food security. Service providers can advocate locally for policies that may improve food security in their geographical area such equally policies that:

  • encourage food manufacturers and wholesalers to dispose of surplus food through food banks – via economical incentives or other ways (SIGNAL NPHP, 2001);
  • reflect the college cost of food in remote areas (Betoken NPHP, 2001);
  • address provision for special needs diets (SIGNAL NPHP, 2001);vi
  • aim to improve nutritional standards and knowledge within the customs (i.e., public health policies) (Signal NPHP, 2001); and
  • support local production of food and improved transport to food outlets (SIGNAL NPHP, 2001).

What practice food security programs wait like in practice?

There are a range of programs and projects in Commonwealth of australia that accost the result of food security. CAFCA’s Promising Practice Profiles database provides some examples of these types of programs and projects.

One example is a community kitchen pilot projection based in Frankston, Victoria. This program aims to improve participants’ nutrient security through acquiring food cognition and skills whilst reducing social isolation. The bug it seeks to address are nutrient access and use: the poor concrete and financial access to quality, affordable fresh produce, which in turn is a barrier to healthy eating for some community members. A diversity of community members – including anile, Indigenous, disadvantaged, youth and migrant individuals – make use of the community kitchen facilities.

Using a flexible and negotiable arroyo, the project requires active participation and financial contribution from grouping members. It does not sell food merely rather educates participants in the planning and cooking of meals. Training workshops are provided for facilitators and interested participants, covering topics such as healthy eating, budgeting for food, kitchen and food safety and group facilitation. All other education for participants is breezy and involves the ongoing weekly gathering of vi-8 people and one facilitator who jointly select and prepare meals that they so share together for a small investment of a few dollars.

Notable outcomes of the programme include:

  • improvements in cooking skills, nutritional cognition, meal planning, budgeting and shopping habits;
  • increased fruit and vegetable consumption (43%) and reduction of fast food consumption (64%);
  • improvements in food safe and hygiene practices;
  • significant impacts on participants mental wellness and wellbeing due to the social aspect of the project (social inclusion); and
  • an increase in community strength, with 43% of participants going on to bring together other community groups.

Further resources

  • For a full list of CAFCA Promising Practice Profiles see <www.aifs/cafca/topics/index.html>.
  • For an example of nutrient security/nutrition program in a remote Aboriginal community, see
    Early Learnings Telstra Foundation Research Report
    (Higgins, 2005).
  • For a gendered analysis of food insecurity, see
    Women and Food Insecurity (PDF 72 KB)
    (Women’s Wellness Problems Paper No. vii), published by Women’s Health Victoria <whv.org.au/static/files/avails/64793bc2/Women_and_food_insecurity_issues_paper.pdf>.


  • Bailie, R., & K. Runcie. (2001). Household infrastructure in Aboriginal communities and the implications for health comeback.
    Medical Periodical of Australia,
    175(7), 363-366.
  • Browne, J., Laurence, S., & Thorpe, Due south. (2009).
    Interim on food insecurity in urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: Policy and do interventions to improve local admission and supply of nutritious food. Retrieved from <www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/health-risks/nutrition/other-reviews>.
  • Burns, C. (2004).
    A review of the literature describing the link between poverty, nutrient insecurity and obesity with specific reference to Australia. Melbourne: Victorian Wellness Promotion Foundation.
  • Council of Australian Governments. (2009).
    National strategy for food security in remote Ethnic communities,
    Canberra: COAG.
  • Frankston Customs Wellness Service. (2004).
    Frankston Community Kitchens Pilot Project
    (CAFCA Promising Practice Profile). Retrieved from <www.aifs.gov.au/cafca/ppp/profiles/la_community_kitchens.html>.
  • Gill, T.P., Baur, L.A., Bauman, A.E., Steinbeck, Yard.S., Storlien, L.H., Fiatarone Singh, M.A., Make-Miller, J.C., Colagiuri, S. and Caterson, I.D. (2009). Babyhood obesity in Australia remains a widespread health concern that warrants population-wide prevention programs,
    Medical Journal of Australia,
    190(3), 146-148.
  • Kettings, C., & Sinclair, A. J. (2009). A healthy nutrition consistent with Australian health recommendations is too expensive for welfare-dependent families.
    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Wellness,
    33(half-dozen), 566-572.
  • National Health and Medical Enquiry Council. (2003).
    Food for infants (PDF xviii.6 KB).
    Retrieved from <www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/publications/synopses/foodinfa.pdf?>
  • Strategic Inter-Governmental Nutrition Alliance of the National Public Health Partnership. (2001).
    Swallow Well Australia: An calendar for action for public health diet 2000-2010. Melbourne: National Public Health Partnership.
  • Nolan, M., Rikard-Bell, One thousand., Mohsin, M., & Williams, M. (2006). Nutrient insecurity in 3 socially disadvantaged localities in Sydney, Australia.
    Health Promotion Journal of Australia,
    17(3), 247-254.
  • Radimer, Thou. (2002). Measurement of household nutrient security in the USA and other industrialized countries.
    Public Health Nutrition,
    5(6A), 859-864.
  • Saethre, E. (2005). Nutrition, economic science and food distribution in an Australian Aboriginal community.
    Anthropological Forum,
    fifteen(ii), 151-169.
  • Temple, J. B. (2008). Astringent and moderate forms of food insecurity in Australia: Are they distinguishable?
    Australian Journal of Social Issues,
    43(4), 649-668.
  • The Smith Family unit & Fairfield West Primary School. (2009).
    Fairfield Refugee Nutrition Project
    (CAFCA Promising Practice Profile). Retrieved from <www.aifs.gov.au/cafca/ppp/profiles/cfc_fairfield_nutrition.html>.
  • Turrell, G., & Kavanagh, A. M. (2005). Socio-economic pathways to diet: Modeling the association between socio-economic position and food purchasing behaviour.
    Public Health Diet,
    9(3), 375-383.
  • Turrell, G., Hewitt, B., Patterson, C., Oldenburg, B., & Gould, T. (2002). Socioeconomic differences in nutrient purchasing behaviour and suggested implications for diet-related health promotion.
    Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics,
    15, 355-364.
  • United Nations Nutrient & Agronomics Organisation. (1996).
    Rome announcement on earth food security. Retrieved from <www.fao.org/wfs/index_en.htm>
  • Winicki, J., & Jemison, K. (2003). Food insecurity and hunger in the kindergarten classroom: Its result on learning and growth.
    Contemporary Economic Policy,
    21(ii), 145-157.
  • World Health System. (2011).
    Nutrient security. Retrieved from <world wide web.who.int/trade/glossary/story028/en/>

Which Practice is Most Likely to Make People Sick

Source: https://aifs.gov.au/resources/practice-guides/food-insecurity-australia-what-it-who-experiences-it-and-how-can-child

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