Health Disadvantages Indigenous Australians

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Health care, Health Pages: 3 (804 words) Published: November 4, 2013
For most indigenous people, health disadvantages begin at birth, and this inequity is appalling. Something must be done to close the gap by 2030.

Socioeconomic factors are associated with education, employment, and income, and each, has a substantial influence on the health of Indigenous Australians. Education, which is inaccessible for many Indigenous people, allows for the greater knowledge of health issues, and the increased understanding of both protective behaviors and risk factors. It is a known fact that with a lack of education or one that is poor, there is a increased risk that there will be less employment opportunities – ultimately leading to little or no income. Hence, the vicious poverty cycle is born. Education enables Indigenous Australians to develop a sense of empowerment, and in turn increases the probability that they will take steps to improve their health. If an Indigenous child has had an insuffienct education, they will not have had any opportunities that assist them in evaluating health information and products. Research has shown those with higher levels of education have a reduced chance of smoking, being inactive and suffering from obesity. It’s the absence and inequality of education that has led to obesity among Indigenous Australians - with 28% of those over 15 being overweight, and 29% diagnosed as obese. Obesity increases the risk of developing health problems including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, injury and certain cancers. The individual may not be aware of which foods are healthy, may not be able to afford it, may not take part in physical activity daily, use tobacco and abuse alcohol – and this occurs from deficient education.

Additionally, environmental factors influence the health of Indigenous Australians in the areas of geographic location and access to health services and technology. Approximately 24% of people living in remote areas and 45% of those living in...
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