HSN302 : Population Nutrition - Food Insecurity - Assessment Answer

December 04, 2018
Author : Sara Lanning

Solution Code: 1AJDE

Question: Population Nutrition

This assignment is related to ” Population Nutrition” and experts at My Assignment Services AU successfully delivered HD quality work within the given deadline.

Population Nutrition Assignment

Case Scenario/ Task

You are working as a Health Promotion Officer (Nutrition) in a local council. Choose one of these two nutrition issues: food sustainability or food insecurity; and write a report for the Council Executive to review existing strategies and propose a new strategy to address this issue in the local government area.

As you are a junior member of the team, you work closely with a mentor – a colleague who has been working in the area for about five years. Your mentor offers to read and provide feedback on components of your report draft.

You may choose to situate your position anywhere in Australia. At a minimum you should identify the state or territory within which you are working, and whether it is in a metropolitan, regional or remote area, but you may choose to name a specific local government area if you wish.

Task

Here is a suggested report structure to guide your writing:

  1. Introduce your report, including a brief definition and discussion of the prevalence and causes of this Include clear identification and justification of the specific issue / target group / population that your program aims to address.
  2. Discuss briefly why this is considered a public health nutrition issue relevant to the municipality, and why a public health approach to address this issue is important.
  3. Review two programs/initiatives to address this public health nutrition issue, focussing on critical analysis of relevant strengths and limitations of those initiatives.

The initiatives you review do not have to be currently operating and do not need to have taken place specifically in your area, but you must explain how they are relevant to your target group. At least one of these must be an initiative which was not discussed in the unit materials.

  1. Propose one strategy to address this public health nutrition issue based on your above review of two programs. You should provide an overview of a strategy and state explicitly how it builds on the strengths and limitations of the programs you discussed in your review. Include brief discussion of some likely strengths and limitations of your proposal, together with a brief conclusion.
  2. This assignment relates to the following ULOs:

    ULO1: Identify, describe, explain and discuss the public health approach to nutrition, and major population nutrition issues across the lifespan in Australia and internationally.

    ULO2: Explain national and global causes, consequences and solutions of nutritional deficiencies, metabolic diseases, food insecurity and food sustainability issues.

    ULO3: Identify, retrieve, curate and critically appraise relevant digital literature to analyse Public Health Nutrition problems.

    ULO4: Critique and propose population nutrition interventions addressing real world nutrition issues. ULO5: Explain and discuss population nutrition issues and approaches using appropriate, discipline specific language, references, and presentation.

    ULO6: Use reflective practice to evidence learning within the context of population nutrition.

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Solution:Population Nutrition

Food insecurity is the condition, where people do not get enough and reliable access to sufficient, affordable and nutritious food. Food is the fundamental need of humans for their survival. When there is shortage of food, people can fight for it, and when it is abundant people often waste it. The problem of food security is a major issue for Australia. Food security is important on the regional, national or global level. Food security is thus the opposite of food insecurity, where people have all time excess to enough and nutritious food. Food insecurity is based on two main components. These are proper food supply and food security.

The demand for the food increases by the growth in population, disposable income and dietary changes in emerging middle class. The production of food can be improved by the managing the environmental changes, improving agriculture productivity, and ensuring equitable access to every individual in every region of the country. The food crisis of 2008 has elevated the problem of food insecurity in Australia. Approximately 4% of the Australian population do not have access to enough, sufficient and nutritious food. This report will discuss the food insecurity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in rural parts of Australia.

Discussion of the Problem

For most of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are living in communities, do not get access to proper employment, social support and lack of finances from the government has increased the risk of food insecurity for these people. Food and nutrition insecurity is referred as the condition of the household, where household members do not have access to sufficient food resource, quantity of nutrition, and enough safe food. This could also be understood as a condition, where individuals are unable to acquire food, which is culturally and socially acceptable. The four main pillars of the food security are “availability, access, utilization and stability” (Pope, & Walker, 2014). These pillars describe the fundamental right towards food. Food availability is considered as the physical availability of food in the farms and markets. Access to food is to acquire or produce sufficient and nutritious amount of food, thus it also involves requirement of sufficient financial support and infrastructure. Food utilization refers to individual’s condition to access the equipments to safely prepare their food. Stability refers to the condition, where one has access to nutritious food regularly.

Food insecurity could also be present when some of the household members limit their food intake, in order to provide enough food to other members of the family. The topic of food insecurity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is the topic that requires great attention According to the available research, ATSI are at the highest risk of food insecurity, in both ways; with or without hunger. The major issues related to food insecurity European colonization, restricted financial aid, and lack of opportunities to get paid jobs. These people are also facing social discrimination issues.

Thus socio-demographic factors are responsible for the food insecurity among these people, as almost half of them are starving from hunger. The people, who are facing such issues, are mainly those who have very low incomes and food aids. Various reasons associated with food insecurity among these people are irregular food supply, supply of non-nutritious or culturally inappropriate food, low level of education or poor literacy about food. All these factors affect the health and food security of the households, as well as that of the whole community.

In comparison to the other Australian people, Indigenous groups are more disadvantaged within the society, and this situate contributes to hunger and poor health in these people. On a average it seen that indigenous people experience higher rates of unemployment, they have low education level, and their households are more crowded. They have more unhealthy behaviors and habits like alcohol consumption, smoking, and are more overweight due to their unhealthy living. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are considered to be less healthy and die much before the other Australians. The average life expectancy for the Indigenous male is 12 years lesser than non-indigenous male. In the case of females the life expectancy is 10 years lesser than non-indigenous females. Their quality of life has been reduced, and these people often face more physical disabilities.

Health and Food Initiative Programs

The two main health and food security related programs are National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition Strategy and Action Plan (NATSINSAP), and National Strategy for Food Security in Remote Indigenous Communities (December 2009).

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition Strategy and Action Plan (NATSINSAP):

This policy offers the nationwide framework for to improve the health of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, by providing improved nutrition. This was mainly develop as the element of the Eat Well Australia and this policy was also endorsed by all health ministries of Australia in 2001. The policy included the seven priority areas that encompass “food supply in rural and remote communities, food security and socioeconomic status, family-focused nutrition promotion, nutrition issues in urban areas, the environment and household infrastructure, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nutrition workforce, and national food and nutrition information systems” (NATSINSAP, 2009).

All these actions are specifically designed to develop the nutritional health of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, by tickling various factors related to the nutrition and food choices of these people. This policy focuses on the social, geographical, economic, environmental and infrastructural issues related to ATSI people. Some of the Key objectives of this policy are:

  • Improving the access of indigenous people to get quality food, and providing healthy food in the remote and rural communities. This policy also includes guidelines for the store managers and other food stakeholder to make available more healthy food and decrease the cost of healthy food items, which will help in maintaining food security.
  • Nutrition is included as the center element of the health worker training project, who are working for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • The policy also includes the development of the nutrition courses at five Universities and focused on developing nutrition content for these people.
  • Policy also works towards improving the nutritional status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and ensuring food security. Thus, policy aims towards social justice, by providing equal access to nutritional food.

In the year 2009-10 the evaluation of this policy was done by the Australian government in order to understanding the effective outcomes of this policy. The outcomes of this strategy would be evaluated in the development of National Nutrition Policy. The limitations of this policy are that it mainly focuses on the food nutrition instead of focusing more on providing food aids and foods supply to ATSI. The limited focus of the policy may not result in full effectiveness of this policy towards closing the gap of food security.

National Strategy for Food Security in Remote Indigenous Communities (December 2009)

According to this policy food security is defined as “the ability of individuals, households and communities to acquire appropriate and nutritious food on a regular and reliable basis using socially acceptable means.” This policy mainly focuses on closing the gap of food security. This policy targets Indigenous population who are living in very remote areas of Australia. The policy implies the greater food security must be provided in order to reduce food insecurity. It target The benefits of food security must be provided to the nation as well as independent communities. This policy encompasses the economic and financial problems of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, as it aims to reduce disabilities, by providing access to health and nutritional food.

According to this policy “the cost of fresh and nutritious food in stores in remote Indigenous communities is consistently found to be significantly higher than that experienced in urban and regional Australia” (National Strategy for Food Security in Remote Indigenous Communities, 2009, p. 3). The higher price of the food items is due to the higher store costs. The high price of fresh food and fruits significantly impacts the food security in Australia, and also increases food insecurity for poor indigenous people. Thus, food availability is limited and price is high in rural and remote areas.

This policy aims towards “improving food security and turning around the long-standing poor health outcomes for Indigenous people in remote Indigenous communities will require a multi-faceted and coordinated ongoing approach from all levels of government, Indigenous people and the non-government and private sectors to develop and implement effective and targeted actions” (National Strategy for Food Security in Remote Indigenous Communities, 2009, p. 4).

Policy also looks forward improving and maintaining the standards of the food stores and takeaways in remote areas. This would help to improve the infrastructure, management and governance of these stores, so that they may provide nutritional, sustainable and affordable food to these people. By providing affordable food, policy aims to overcome the high price of nutritional food. Thus providing the food security is the overarching priority of this policy and relates to the principle of equity. The limitations of this policy are various. It is limited to maintain the food stores and takeaways instead of targeting many other ways of providing food. Also the prevalence of the food insecurity is not known among the risk groups. It also requires finding out the problems that arise in acquiring nutritional food and why such problems arise. This policy lacks to determine the types of food insecurities and health issues caused due to them. The policy could have also targeted towards increasing the productivity of the food items in the rural areas.

Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Health Outcomes Initiative

Closing the gap is the health care initiative of the Australian Government to provide better health and nutrition to the population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The main aim of this policy is to target broad population. According to this policy, increasing the supply of healthy food is an essential part of increasing food security. Another factor of promoting food security is by targeting the factors responsible for food insecurity. Food insecurity refers to have insufficient and health food to eat. Thus policy focuses on increasing the sufficient resources for the population so that they can obtain healthy and nutritional food. It also encompasses sufficient availability of food, with adequate infrastructure and knowledge of nutrition (Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Health Outcomes Initiative, 2014).

The policy mainly aims towards fixing the gap, by increasing life expectancy, providing early childhood education and also helps them in getting employment. Employment and getting regular pays is very important to reduce food insecurity among these people. Lack of education and employment sources, the life of young people from these communities becomes vulnerable. Closing the gap also aims towards providing healthy food in remote areas of the country for indigenous people. It works towards reducing the diet related chronic diseases, and provide health and food literacy to people. The indigenous Australians in remote and rural areas suffer from renal diseases, heart disease and diabetes. This is because they do not get nutritious food.

The reduced life expectancy of these people could also be improved. The limitations of this policy are the data limitation, agreeing target population, understanding their cultural beliefs. It is also found that statistical equality of the goals envisioned within the Close the Gap approach was highly unrealistic. The evidence based approach and validity of the evidences are under scrutiny (Altman, Biddle, & Hunter, 2008). The data available do not provide the current indicator of health issues. However, the strength of the policy is that it targets the population, which is in dire need of improved life conditions, and requires consistent access to sustainable, affordable and nutritious food. The gap in life expectancy and food insecurity is very high, but with continuous efforts it could be reduced over time.

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