Supporting Healthier Food Choices in Remote Indigenous Communities: Developing a Food Choice App

Joanna Henryks, Julie Brimblecombe, Graham Bidstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article posits the development of a healthier food choice app as a means of contributing to facilitating nutritionally superior food selection among indigenous Australians living in remote communities. A significant health gap exists between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Australia. Further, indigenous Australians living in remote communities carry a significant and disproportionate share of this gap. One contributor to poor health is poor nutrition: current food consumption in remote communities is a diet dominated by highly processed foods and characterized by high levels of sugar, refined cereals, and low intake of fruit and vegetables coupled with excessive sodium intake and deficiency in a number of micronutrients. Employing two marketing-based concepts, the dual processing model of nutritional labeling and habit, as the basis for the development of a healthier food app, we contend that a food choice app has the potential to disrupt habitual behavior and generate new learning about healthier food choices in remote indigenous communities. The app would be based on the George Institute’s FoodSwitch app, which enables users to scan barcodes of food products at the point of purchase and determines if the food item is a healthy choice and otherwise suggests healthier alternatives. The proposed app would utilize existing imagery used by the Jimmy Little Foundation, a not-for-profit organization working in remote indigenous communities promoting healthier food and lifestyle practices, and would provide information in a culturally appropriate and clearly communicated form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-620
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Food Products Marketing
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aboriginal people
  • Australia
  • food
  • food app
  • nutrition

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