The Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (ACDPA) develops submissions to government inquiries, public and targeted consultations.
ACDPA strongly supports the development of the national prevention strategy and the commitment to increase investment in prevention to 5% of the health budget by 2030. We also think there needs to be a greater focus on chronic disease risk assessment & early detection in the strategy.
Poor nutrition and obesity are leading causes of chronic disease. ACDPA recommends that public health should be a priority issue in the review of our food system.
ACDPA supports expanding the definition of 'public health protection' in the FSANZ Act to include the long-term health of Australians in recognition that unhealthy diets are major risk factors for chronic disease.
ACDPA strongly recommends including risk assessment and early detection of chronic disease as a focus area in the National Prevention Strategy. Vascular conditions like heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes are enormous causes of mortality and morbidity in Australia. However, much of this burden is preventable and there are significant opportunities for early intervention.
ACDPA supports a stronger approach to sugars and sodium in the Health Star Rating calculator, as well as increased uptake of the star rating on products. Implementation of changes should occur from October 2020 to improve the Health Star Rating system, build consumer trust and support decision making.
ACDPA supports the swift actions taken by the Australian Government in responding to COVID-19 and highlights the importance of early detection, access to telehealth and consistent communications across the nation.
ACDPA supports the purpose of the guidelines – to inform consumer decision making and alcohol policy. We recommend consumer testing to enhance understanding of guideline recommendations and we recommend investment in dissemination, communication and community awareness of guideline recommendations.
ACDPA advocates for improvements to food labelling to enable informed choices by consumers and ultimately reduce the impact of unhealthy diets on overweight/obesity and the development of chronic disease.
ACDPA supports the development of a national strategy for obesity prevention and recommends policy solutions to create healthy food and physical environments.
ACDPA strongly supports mandatory pregnancy warning labels on alcoholic beverages to provide information to consumers on the potential risks of alcohol during pregnancy and to remind women not to drink while pregnant.
ACDPA supports the provision of a Health Check (MBS item 715), including cancer screening and the assessment of absolute cardiovascular disease risk, diabetes and kidney disease as core components, in line with screening programs and national guidelines.
People with a mental illness are at an unacceptably higher risk of chronic disease compared to the general population. Together, ACDPA and Quit recommend addressing risk factors to prevent the development of chronic disease in people with a mental illness.
ACDPA supports the development of this Action Plan. This could be further strengthened through clearer targets, as well as designated responsibilities, implementation detail and timeframes.
ACDPA supports a range of recommendations to the Health Star Rating system and algorithm to improve its accuracy and enable consumers to make informed healthier choices.
ACDPA recommends an Integrated Health Check for vascular diseases, including heart disease,
stroke, type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. These diseases share common risk factors
and often common therapeutic approaches, and also interact to increase risk.
ACDPA supports the proposed definition of potentially preventable hospitalisation to capture hospitalisations that may have been avoidable through general practice activity, such as screening for chronic diseases and management of chronic disease risk factors.
ACDPA welcomes the focus on prevention and suggests a greater focus on early detection and management of risk. Investment in prevention and early intervention provides a cost-effective avenue to improve health and reduce long-term costs.
ACDPA welcomes the focus on priority populations, recognising the need to address the disparities in risk factors and health outcomes across populations. We support the focus on prevention and recommend a greater focus on early assessment and management of disease risk.
ACDPA strongly supports food reformulation as a public health measure and recommends setting stronger targets to reduce saturated fat, salt and sugar in foods.
ACDPA recommends that added sugars labelling be improved through mandatory changes to the ingredients list to group added sugars together and quantifying added sugars in the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) to enable informed choices on sugars intake.
ACDPA recommends that, given the burden of chronic disease and prevalence of modifiable risk factors, the 2018-20 MRFF priorities should continue to support initiatives that prioritise prevention of chronic diseases and related risk factors at the population level.
ACDPA recommends that a national obesity strategy be prioritised to reduce the impact of childhood and adult obesity in Australia, including other initiatives recommended in the Tipping the Scales consensus report to improve food and physical environments.
ACDPA recommends increasing consistency in fast food menu labelling legislation for a nationally consistent approach, in order to maximise the reach and impact of nutrition labelling, and support consumers to make informed healthier choices.
ACDPA supports the development of a much-needed National Alcohol Strategy, including cost-effective interventions from the World Health Organization’s “Best Buys".
ACDPA strongly supports the development of the global action plan on physical activity to demonstrate leadership and provide an opportunity to generate political interest in physical activity on an international scale.
ACDPA is supportive of front-of-pack interpretive labelling to encourage healthier food choices. ACDPA recommends making the Health Star Rating system mandatory at the five-year review; incorporating fresh fruit and vegetables into the system; adapting the algorithm to ensure the system's credibility; and continued consumer education campaigns to improve awareness and uptake.
ACDPA supports the inclusion of Prevention through physical activity as a key pillar of the National Sports Plan. However, physical activity encompasses much more than participation in organised sports and ACDPA encourages the government to develop a funded National Physical Activity Plan in tandem with the National Sports Plan.
ACDPA supports amendments to the ‘as prepared’ rules, with ratings based on products as sold as the default, and rehydrated or drained if required for consumption, with no exemptions.
ACDPA recommends consistent mandatory energy labelling on alcohol containers to assist in educating consumers about the impact of alcohol on daily energy intake and to enable consumers to make informed choices.