24 January 2003
Indigenous children living in remote areas are shorter and weigh less than their peers living in the city, research shows.
Follow-up of 482 Aboriginal children living in the Top End of the Northern Territory showed children aged 8-14 years living in rural communities were, on average, 5 cm shorter and 7 kg lighter, and had a lower body mass index and lower haemoglobin levels than those living in Darwin-Palmerston (Medical Journal of Australia 2003; 178: 56-60).
(Body mass index (BMI) is your weight in kg divided by your height in metres squared. People with obesity will have a higher BMI. Haemoglobin is a substance in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. A low haemoglobin level can indicate an iron deficient diet.)
The children in remote communities also had substantially more visible infections. However, blood pressure (diastolic), LDL-cholesterol (so-called 'bad' cholesterol) and blood glucose did not differ.
Last Reviewed: 23 January 2003