The Health News – 7 March 2016

Overview:
• Leaders in an Aboriginal community north of Adelaide are pushing to make the area a dry zone in a bid to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence. About 100 people live in Davenport, just outside Port Augusta, but its population swells during summer.

• As Australia grapples with how to combat a childhood obesity crisis, a group of US researchers have suggested the humble emoji may hold the key to encouraging children to make healthier food decisions.

• Incidents in the South Australian health system are being subjected to secret inquiries beyond the reach of the coroner’s court, the state’s Opposition says. Andrew Knox is one of 10 people whose chemotherapy treatment was botched at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) and Flinders Hospital, when he received half the necessary dose.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 7th of March 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-06/aboriginal-group-leading-push-make-davenport-community-dry-zone/7224526

Leaders in an Aboriginal community north of Adelaide are pushing to make the area a dry zone in a bid to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence.

About 100 people live in Davenport, just outside Port Augusta, but its population swells during summer.

So too does alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour, according to community leader Max Wicham.

“It is a happy place here but you’ve got too many drunks just walking around in the middle of the night,” he said.

“We don’t have much sleep either.”

To reduce violence, Indigenous leaders are taking matters into their own hands by creating a by-law to ban drinking in public areas.

Under a current proposal, residents will be able to consume alcohol inside their homes, but nowhere else.

Aboriginal leader Malcolm McKenzie said it would hopefully reduce problems that stem from substance abuse.

“It’s to control the continuous drinking out of people’s homes and mess being left around,” he said.

“We’ve got no control over that but if we have by-laws put in place then the police or whoever has got to act upon that.”

Many areas in Davenport are strewn with rubbish from public drinkers, many of whom have long battled issues with alcohol.

Mr McKenzie said the by-law would also ensure the community was safe and tidy.

Some believe problems have escalated since the nearby city of Port Augusta became a total dry zone a decade ago.

That brought more people into Davenport and many who drink are from outside the community, the leaders said.

They believe community consent is the next step to ensure the dry zone goes ahead.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-06/can-using-emojis-help-children-make-healthier-eating-choices/7214988

As Australia grapples with how to combat a childhood obesity crisis, a group of US researchers have suggested the humble emoji may hold the key to encouraging children to make healthier food decisions.

According to the Federal Government, one in four children in Australia are overweight or obese, andnumerous programs have been implementedacross the country to try and tackle the problem.

But a recent US study published in the journal Appetite found that adding “emolabels” to foods — similar to the smiling or frowning faces many of us use when text messaging — meant children were more likely to make healthy food decisions.

The study looked at the food choices of children aged between five and 11, who were given a brief lesson on the meaning of the emolabels before being asked to choose four food items from two aisles set up to look like a grocery store.

Half of the 12 items were labelled with smiley face stickers on nutritious options and frowning face stickers on less healthy foods, while the other half were without labels.

Greg Privitera, study leader and research chair at the University of Phoenix’s Centre for Behavioural Health Research, told the Washington Post: “The thought that came to mind was, ‘Why aren’t we involving children and empowering them to be part of the solution?'”

Dr Privitera said children lacked the health literacy — which the study described as “the ability to acquire health-related knowledge” — to make food decisions based on nutritional information.

However, he said they were able to understand emotional expressions from an early age.

“Children are wonderfully brilliant at emotion,” Dr Privitera said.

“As young as six months to one year, they can accurately use basic expressions of emotions to make decisions that make perfect emotional sense.”

According to the Washington Post, the study found that when the emolabels were used, 83 per cent of the children switched one of their food choices to a healthy option.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-06/sa-health-incidents-investigated-secret-inquiries-opposition/7224398

Incidents in the South Australian health system are being subjected to secret inquiries beyond the reach of the coroner’s court, the state’s Opposition says.

Andrew Knox is one of 10 people whose chemotherapy treatment was botched at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) and Flinders Hospital, when he received half the necessary dose.

“I’m trying to keep myself as fit as I can,” Mr Knox said.

“Good food and good exercise, that’s about all I can do and hope that I defeat the clock.”

Mr Knox still questions the department’s version of events, particularly what is in his records, but the quality of the investigation is not in dispute.

The Government’s own report said “the level of investigation required wasn’t undertaken”.

And despite a departmental request, the RAH “did not conduct a root cause analysis investigation”.

“If there had been a root cause analysis they would have known back in February last year, 2015, that I’d been under-dosed unnecessarily instead of waiting to be gobsmacked by the information coming from the media on 5th August … six months later,” Mr Knox said.

Root cause analysis or RCAs started in the 1950s when NASA wanted to investigate failures with rockets.

They are enshrined in the Health Act, designed to get to the bottom of complex incidents.

But Opposition spokesperson Stephen Wade said RCAs were secret by law, and not even the coroner could discover their recommendations or deliberations.

Coroner Mark Johns said the protection surrounding RCAs meant health professionals received greater protection than police informers.

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