Sample – Sociology: Health and Illness

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Aborigine Community: Health and Illness

Question –

Social relations can delineate much about collective food as well as patterns related to eating. In addition, it can represent an assessment related to the sociocultural matter for the purpose of comprehending eating patterns of the population. The sociological studies related to lay health beliefs, second upon the fact that public conceptions of health and illness are different depending upon the proximate material as well as social circumstances that are related to different individuals. These situations could act to restrict the probabilities related to the action to modify unhealthy lifestyle (Wein, 1996). It could be stated that lay descriptions surpass the common sense, in that description beyond the limit of approximately apparent are incorporated. One outcome of these lay beliefs research was to have a change on focus related to health prevention government’s strategy. In this paper, the sociological perspective is delineated that describe the relationship between food and individuals.

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Health and illness is a major area of discussion in the present world. Though, non-indigenous individuals are little healthier than indigenous individuals like aborigines. In the present time, aboriginals face many health issues including, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cataract, cancer, kidney or renal disease, STDs and many more. These diseases are on the rise in their community because to some extent, there is lack of education, employment, socioeconomic status, as well as none or less availability of health care facilities in their region. The examination of lay understandings would provide knowledge about the lifestyle of aborigines, which in turn might help in improving the health of the Aborigines community (Wilkinson & Marmot, 2003).

Sociology: Health and Illness

According to Patricia Crotty, swallowing categorizes nutrition in two cultures, the swallowing period related to physiology, biology, biochemistry, as well as pathology and pre swallowing area, society experience as well as culture. She provided this concept to help in describing her observation which states that nutrition caters confined attention to social nature related to food and eating or pre swallowing. Conversely, Charles and Kerr researched food, families and women to know the manner in which eating habits are highly impacted, if not influenced by social aspects like age, class and gender. Whilst being very deterministic, the statement clearly takes in account social contentment structures as well as ideologies as being created and reproduced by the means if social procedures produced when an individual lives their routine lives (Delormier et al., 2009). There is very little known regarding the varied impact of social determinants related to health in the lives of individuals. However, it is apparent that the emotional, spiritual, physical and mental dimensions related to health among Aboriginal adults, youth and children differently left an impact on a wider range of social determinants. These incorporate situations as well as environments, and systems as well as institutions which left an impact on the development and sustainability-related to health along with persistent excellent to poor (Loppie & Wein, 2009). According to Thompson, the priority is catered to acute as well as a visible illness by Melbourne Aborigines. However, they ignored the preventive measures as well as proper care that diabetes needs for a long time. The chief reasons related to mortality as well as morbidity in this Aboriginal Australians that incorporate heart diseases and NIIDIM have identical risk issues. Therefore, it is being debated for the matter of non-infectious disease epidemiological which is leveraging an identical risk approach to categorize distinct conditions along the area of epidemiology might be helpful (Thompson & Gifford, 2000).

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Other than this, research and industry development related to bush foods should realize that aboriginal individuals view themselves as custodians as well as sovereigns of all plants and its categories like fruits, seeds, etc. At the same time, the conventional and modern understanding linked to these plants is equally important for them. They have the laws which have been followed since their ancestral period. Therefore, all Aboriginal groups in Australia can benefit a lot to the bush food industry (Douglas, 2011). When it comes to the consumption of food, conventional food was very common within the aborigine community. However, the quantum related to consumption was different. As per a study, several aboriginal individuals preferred and desired to consumer more conventional foods instead of what they have in the present time. But, there were certain hindrances to have adequate access to conventional foods.  These incorporate colonization and residential schools have resulted in the loss of land, less knowledge about traditional ways, the non-presence of skilled fisher or hunter in the families of today, loss of cultural values, enhanced migration to urban areas, variation in lifestyle as there is an inclination for employment which is paid, restrictions imposed by the government, higher contamination level, expensive equipment, and reduction in the species of animals (Elliott & Jayatilaka, 2011). Besides this, amalgamating an ethnographic approach with epidemiology gives a highly complex image related to the community than present epidemiological models have presented. The chief epidemiological model related to causation, having its target on the people as well as decontextualized aspects of risk, is unsuccessful to identify the core meaning of danger within the wider society as well as cultural matter in which people, communities and families experience. Melbourne aborigines are themselves, debating for this highly complex as well as a meaningful approach that explains the relationship between food and people (Thompson & Gifford, 2000). The basic Aboriginal diet in present time is considerable kilojoules, has low nutritional value, and more fats as well as sugar. Today, there is no requirement to hunt and search for food. Therefore, the overall physical activity of these groups has declined, giving rise to several diseases. As per surveys, the urban indigenous individuals consume more fast food as well as salt in comparison to non-indigenous individuals. Residing in remote and backward communities minimizes the availability of needed food, specifically fresh vegetables and fruits. It has been noted that indigenous individuals who belong to Northern Territory intake more white flour, sugar as well as carbonated soft drinks. It can be stated that the modern aboriginal diet is low in magnesium, calcium and vitamin C.

Quantitative studies into food and nutrition could be linked with pragmatic and methodological issues. Methodological issues faced in acquiring a valid evaluation related to food and nutrition in a traditional environment, incorporate intrusion into customary as well as traditional practices; unable to know what eat directly from plants, etc.  A review related to food and nutrition contracted the feasibility, acceptability as well as face rationality of five food and nutrition methods named as weighed food and nutrition, 24-hour recall, history about diet, food prevalence, as well as store turnover methods. These food and nutrition survey methods provided information about aboriginal communities. History of diet and food prevalence did not find any quantitative results, information or data. On the basis of implicit sources related to visa in distinct methods, the store turnover method has the least possibility of bias. The two main methods for collecting data are delineated below.

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24-hour recall:

Recall methods comprise of stable additions of foods that have a high Vitamin C and proteins, probability providing a purposefully editing related to recall configured to make the right answer as per the considered nutritional desirability. There was inadequate harmony among 24 hours and weighed food and nutrition method. Besides this, there was an overestimation of fats, proteins as well as other vitamins and minerals in the 24-hour recall. However, complex carbohydrate was underestimated.

Store Turnover Method:

The store turnover method is leveraged through organized evaluation related to a community store food invoices for a three-month duration, that typically encompass numerous ordering duration. This method is identical to the Apparent Consumption Data provided by ABS for Australia on the whole. It could be easily compared to the population arranged suggested intakes related to diet. The method has been leveraged to exhibit a contemporary process of diet. Basically, this method is appropriate for the smaller geographical domain as well as simple and less expensive to execute (NHMRC, 2000).

There is a close relationship between aboriginals and their traditions. But, these might be contributing to the increase in the level of diseases among them. Therefore, today the Australian government should take active measures to improve the conditions of aborigines and reduce the number of diseases in their community (Caron et al., 2007). Also, these steps would help in closing the gap that exists between urban people and aborigines. There is a need to provide more healthcare facilities to these communities that are accessible to them as well as efforts should be made to educate them about various diseases and their related preventive measures. Besides this, they should be made aware about the right food and quantity that a person needs to consume each day. These small but effective measures can help a lot to the aboriginal community on the whole.

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Carson B, Dunbar T, Chenhall RD, Bailie R, eds. (2007) Social Determinants of Indigenous Health. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen and Unwin.

Delormier, T., Frohlich, K.L., & Potvin, L. (2009). “Food and Eating As Social Practice – Understanding Eating Patterns as Social Phenomena and Implications for Public Health”. Sociology of Health & Illness. 31 (2). 215–228. Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2008.01128.x

Douglas, J., Merne Altyerre-ipenhe (Food from the Creation time) Reference Group., & Walsh, F. (2011).  “Aboriginal People, Bush Foods Knowledge and Products from Central Australia: Ethical Guidelines for Commercial Bush Food Research, Industry and Enterprises”. DKCRC Report 71. Ninti One Limited, Alice Springs.

Elliott, B., & Jayatilaka, D. (2011). Healthy Eating and Food Security for Urban Aboriginal Peoples Living in Vancouver. Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver.
Loppie, C., & Wein, F. (2009). Health Inequalities and Social Determinants of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health. National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Price George, B.C.

NHMRC. (2000). Nutrition in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Commonwealth of Australia, Melbourne.

Thompson & Gifford. (2000). “Trying to keep a balance: the meaning of health and diabetes in an urban Aboriginal community”.  Social Science Social and Medicine. 51. 1457-1472.

Wein, E. (1996). “Foods and Nutrients in Reported Diets versus Perceived Ideal Diets of Yukon Indian People”. Journal of Nutrition Education, 28(4), 202-208.

Wilkinson R, Marmot M (2003) Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts. Denmark: World Health Organization



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