Deakin University

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Healthy weight, health behaviours and quality of life among Aboriginal children living in regional Victoria

Objective: To report the prevalence of healthy weight and related behaviours among Victorian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children and explore associations between these factors and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Methods: Analysis of cross-sectional data from two cluster randomised controlled trials using logistic and linear mixed models. The sample included Aboriginal (n=303) and non-Aboriginal (n=3,026) children aged 8–13 years. Results: More than two-thirds of Aboriginal children met guidelines for fruit (75.9%), sweetened drinks (66.7%), sleep (73.1%), screen time (67.7%) and objectively measured physical activity (83.6%); and 79.1% reported consuming take-away foods less than once per week. Aboriginal children were more likely to meet vegetable consumption guidelines (OR=1.42, 95%CI: 1.05, 1.93), but less likely to have a healthy weight (OR=0.66, 95%CI: 0.52, 0.85) than non-Aboriginal children. Mean HRQoL scores were significantly higher among non-Aboriginal children and both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children meeting health guidelines. Conclusions: Most Aboriginal children in this study met guidelines for fruit, physical activity, screen time and sleep, and those meeting these guidelines had significantly higher HRQoL. Implications for public health: Promoting nutrition, physical activity and sleep is likely to benefit all children. Aboriginal community-controlled organisations can use these data to design culturally-specific programs that may improve disparities in healthy weight and HRQoL.



Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health