Inspiring local Aboriginal community leaders to talk more about rethinking sugary drink messages

Cancer Council WA has partnered with Heart Foundation through LiveLighter to raise awareness of the significant health problems associated with sugary drink consumption across Aboriginal Western Australian communities.

LiveLighter has licensed the Rethink Sugary Drink campaign from Victoria for use in Western Australia. You wouldn’t eat 16 teaspoons of sugar, so why drink them? Drinking too many sugary drinks can lead to weight gain, obesity, type two diabetes, heart disease and cancer. These are a big problem in the Aboriginal community..

Inspiring local community leaders and Elders within the community will play an important part to help raise awareness of the serious issues linked to sugary drinks. Yarning to families, parents and grandchildren to reduce their intake of sugary drinks would be invaluable.

The recent launch of the new junk food phase of LiveLighter held in Perth on Monday, 4th April 2016 heard from a local Aboriginal Noongar elder, Betty Garlett, who delivered a unique Welcome to Country.   The local Elder spoke to health professionals by recalling the significant cultural practices where traditional Aboriginal people in early days lived off the land; sugar intake was sweet honey which was minimal in those days.   In today’s society we see community drawn to unhealthy lifestyles.  The local Elder said the launch motivated her to raise awareness with local Aboriginal youth programs around the importance of healthy lifestyles and reducing their intake of sugary drinks.

Two thirds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are overweight or obese and many Aboriginal people have to manage serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This makes messages around reducing their intake of sugary drinks a priority for communities to think about.

It is important for Aboriginal health organisations and the wider community groups in Western Australia to be aware of the new LiveLighter television campaign which delivers culturally appropriate messages to our communities.  We want to send a message to communities that sugary drinks are unhealthy and people should drink water as a healthier option.

We would like to inspire many more local Aboriginal community leaders and Elders to help us share the message by encouraging local people in your community to drink water instead.

If you would like more information and the facts about the latest LiveLighter campaign, please go to the website which also has easy recipes for a healthier community.

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