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Prevalence and perceptions of overweight and obesity in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people in custody

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Incarcerated youth are one of the most disadvantaged population groups.1,2 Compared with their community peers, they have a higher prevalence of risk factors for chronic disease, including alcohol misuse, smoking, mental illness, Aboriginality and lower socioeconomic status.1 In 2010, almost a quarter of Australians aged 14–17 years were overweight or obese, and 6% were obese.3,4

A recent review highlighted the disparities in weight, physical activity and nutrition between incarcerated adults and the general population,5 but no studies have examined these factors in incarcerated young people. In Australia, New South Wales incarcerates the highest numbers of youths, half of whom are from Aboriginal backgrounds,1,2 a 17 times over-representation of Aboriginal youth in NSW custody.1 Metabolic syndrome and metabolic abnormalities are commonly associated with…