Food Insecurity in Australia: Implications for General Practitioners

Rebecca Lindberg, Mark Lawrence, Lisa Gold, Sharon Friel, Olivia Pegram

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background In Australia, it would appear that food is abundant. For a proportion of people, however, accessing enough food to eat can be a daily or weekly struggle. Objectives This article provides a summary about the prevalence, causes and consequences of food insecurity that affects vulnerable populations in Australia, and discusses the implications for general practitioners (GPs). Discussion It is estimated that 4% of Australians cannot access sufficient, safe and nutritious food. Food insecurity can be both a precursor to, and a by-product of, chronic disease and poverty. Patients who are food insecure may skip meals, eat cheap food and experience stress. They may show incredible resilience and skills in managing and masking this issue. Identifying this vulnerable population is of high importance to GPs as it has an impact on the work-up and care of such individuals. Effective links between welfare and health services are required to address patients' material, financial and environmental barriers to food security.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)859-862
    JournalAustralian Family Physician
    Volume44
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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