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‘Shelf talkers’ to improve nutrition in remote communities

By Richmond Hodgson

(From left) Menzies’ project officers Lawurrpa Maypilama and Frances Knight with nutritionist Clare Brown and Doris Yittun from Galiwin’ku (From left) Menzies’ project officers Lawurrpa Maypilama and Frances Knight with nutritionist Clare Brown and Doris Yittun from Galiwin’ku

A new resource package focused on improving nutrition in remote stores in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will help to address the poor state of diets in remote Indigenous populations.

With support from The Fred Hollows Foundation, the Menzies School of Health Research has developed a “Talking about Shelf Labels” flipchart and a comprehensive resource manual as part of its Remote Stores Project.

The Remote Stores Project worked with four communities across Arnhem Land, Cape York, Central Australia and the Torres Strait, to gather information on what shelf label systems currently existed, which were effective and accepted in communities, what sort of tools were necessary and how to work with local people to develop culturally appropriate shelf label projects.

Research Fellow with Menzies’ Nutrition Research Team, Dr Susan Colles said the researchers collaborated with local people in each site, together with store staff, health professionals and other stakeholders to develop and implement shelf label projects and other activities for their stores.

“The findings from this process were used to form a resource package which will assist health and nutrition staff to work with store staff and communities to develop and evaluate a program based on putting better labelling or ‘shelf talkers’ in community stores,” Dr Colles said.

The resource will benefit Indigenous families, remote nutritionists, remote area store staff and health professionals working in communities.

The Remote Stores Project was funded through The Fred Hollows Foundation. This resource is available to download from W: www.menzies.edu.au/page/Resources/Talking_about_shelf_labels/