Deakin welcomes national strategy into obesity prevention

Media release
16 October 2018

Deakin's Institute for Health Transformation has welcomed the COAG Health Council's commitment to develop a national obesity strategy.

Institute Director Professor Anna Peeters said the show of leadership from state and territory governments was an important step forward in addressing an epidemic of weight-related illness threatening Australia's health, wellbeing and productivity.

"In our recent submission to the Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic, we called for obesity prevention to be made a national priority, with a national taskforce, sustained funding, regular and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of key measures and regular reporting around targets," Professor Peeters said.

"Our new Institute for Health Transformation is perfectly positioned to participate in a strategy development working group and engage a multisectorial systems-based approach to address obesity, primary and secondary prevention measures, and social determinants of health, especially in relation to early childhood and rural and regional issues."

The Institute includes the Global Obesity Centre, a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for Obesity Prevention, as well as the new Centre of Research Excellence in Food Retail Environments for Health (REFRESH), the first international centre for healthy food retail research and practice.

"Through our trials and policy research we have established that obesity is fundamentally a preventable condition, but prevention requires action across all levels of society," Professor Peeters said.

"In our development of last year's Tipping the Scales Report we identified eight key policies that should form the most critical and urgent components of a national strategy, with support from around 40 leading public health and research bodies.

"Comprehensive, decisive action is needed now to match the size and urgency of the crisis that obesity represents for future generations, and we look forward to offering our expertise to support governments in progressing this important work."

About the Institute for Health Transformation
The new Institute for Health Transformation brings together a vast network of multi-disciplinary researchers to improve value, equity and impact in health and care. The Institute works to address some of the most compelling and complex health challenges of the 21st century through translational research excellence in: health systems and services, prevention and population health, and data and digital health.

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