10-year National Obesity Strategy released
7 March 2022
Arriving on World Obesity Day, the National Obesity Strategy 2022-2032 was released on 4 March 2022 with an array of actions to prevent obesity across the population.
Health groups have been awaiting the release of the strategy since it was first announced in 2018, following a Senate Inquiry into the Obesity Epidemic.
ACDPA recognised the importance of the strategy, as obesity is a leading cause of chronic disease, including stroke, heart disease, cancers, type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.
Obesity prevention is crucial to prevent unhealthy weight gain and reduce the risk of people developing these long-term chronic conditions. Disease burden could be dramatically reduced if everyone in Australia was a healthy weight - but this requires changes to our food and physical environments, as well as support for individuals to manage their weight. This is particularly important, as it is difficult to reverse weight gain once established.
ACDPA provided input to the development of the Strategy over the past few years via public and targeted consultations, a national summit, and stakeholder roundtables.
During this time, we highlighted the need for the Strategy to be supported through funding, a national implementation plan with measurable targets, a monitoring and evaluation framework, and a process free from conflicts of interest.
We also recognised the importance of aligning with the new National Prevention Strategy and its targets for addressing obesity, as well as the target to increase spending on prevention to 5% of the health budget by 2030.
Investment in obesity prevention is necessary to create healthier environments that enable people to eat well and move more, including changes to food labelling, protecting children from unhealthy food marketing, a sugary drinks levy, social marketing campaigns, and access to safe environments for physical activity.
We also need to support people to understand their risk of disease, including managing their weight and other risk factors through access to prevention programs and health system reform to promote wellbeing in primary and community care.
The National Obesity Strategy is available on the Department of Health website.