Health Promotion Journal of Australia Health Promotion Journal of Australia Society
Journal of the Australian Health Promotion Association
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Response to Editorial: Children, poverty and health promotion in Australia

Rosalie Schultz A D , Karin Kochmann B and Jane O’Sullivan C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Remote Health, Flinders University, PO Box 4066, Alice Springs, NT 0871, Australia.

B 2 Murrajong Road Springwood, Qld 4127, Australia.

C School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: rosalie.schultz@flinders.edu.au

Health Promotion Journal of Australia 28(2) 174-174 https://doi.org/10.1071/HE17032
Submitted: 29 March 2017  Accepted: 28 April 2017   Published: 15 June 2017

Your recent editorial ‘Children, poverty and health promotion in Australia’ highlighted opportunities for Australia to promote the health of future generations by ensuring the needs of children and families are prioritised.1 Missing in the case studies, even when the case was a woman with four children under six and another in utero, was mention of the key preventive intervention to improve child-wellbeing: contraception.2

Unplanned, unexpected and unwanted pregnancies comprise up to 50% of pregnancies in Australia, and while many are not taken to term, unintended births are more likely amongst disadvantaged groups.3 These contribute to increasing household costs, and poorer nutrition and educational outcomes for children. They also add to our burgeoning populations, fuelling the housing affordability crisis and overstretching our infrastructure and community services.4,5 Increasing urban density, which is resulting from Australia’s rapid and unplanned population growth, has been associated with increased risks of obesity, asthma, depression and schizophrenia.6

Australia has a relatively high fertility rate and even higher population growth rate for a developed country.7 Our increasing population numbers multiply our high per person environmental impact, to produce our increasing detrimental environmental impact. Growing populations are important drivers of the deteriorating condition of many areas of Australia’s environment.8

The health and wellbeing of both children alive today and future generations will be enhanced by ensuring that all women of childbearing age receive proactive contraceptive advice, a point missing from Binns et al.’s important editorial.



References

[1]  Binns C, Howat P, Smith J, Jancey J (2016) Children, poverty and health promotion in Australia. Health Promot J Austr 27, 181–3.
Children, poverty and health promotion in Australia.CrossRef |

[2]  Gipson J, Koenig M, Hindin M (2008) The effects of unintended pregnancy on infant, child, and parental health: a review of the literature. Stud Fam Plann 39, 18–38.
The effects of unintended pregnancy on infant, child, and parental health: a review of the literature.CrossRef |

[3]  Mazza D, Harrison C, Taft A, Brijinath B, Britt H, Hobbs M, et al. (2012) Current contraceptive management in Australian general practice: an analysis of BEACH data. Med J Aust 197, 110–4.
Current contraceptive management in Australian general practice: an analysis of BEACH data.CrossRef |

[4]  Cuthill M (2010) Strengthening the ‘social’ in sustainable development: developing a conceptual framework for social sustainability in a rapid urban growth region in Australia. Sustain Dev 18, 362–73.
Strengthening the ‘social’ in sustainable development: developing a conceptual framework for social sustainability in a rapid urban growth region in Australia.CrossRef |

[5]  Howat P, Stoneham M (2011) Why sustainable population growth is a key to climate change and public health equity. Health Promot J Austr 2, S34–8.

[6]  Pelser D (2010) Super size me: is a big Australia good for our health? Med J Aust 192, 526–7.

[7]  World Bank. Fertility rate, total (births per woman) Washington DC: World Bank; 2016 [cited 29 March 2017]. Available from: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN?locations=XD-AU

[8]  Jackson W, Argent R, Bax N, Clark G, Coleman S, Cresswell I. et al. Australia: State of the Environment 2016: Overview, independent report to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Energy. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy; 2017.


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