Australians experience high rates of overweight, obesity and chronic disease. Currently, 63.4% of Australians are overweight or obese and 27.4% of children, ages 5–17 are overweight or obese.
Concerns about rates of overweight and obesity in Australia, and the impact of this on chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, prompted the formation of the Obesity Policy Coalition in 2006. The Obesity Policy Coalition was established with the aim of influencing change in policy and regulation to support obesity prevention, particularly in Australian children.
The Obesity Policy Coalition was established by:
The broad objectives of the Obesity Policy Coalition are to identify, analyse and advocate for evidence-based policy and regulatory initiatives to reduce overweight and obesity, particularly in children, at a local, state and national level.
The major areas of policy interest are to:
- analyse and prioritise policy initiatives that are likely to have an impact on reducing obesity, particularly in children
- undertake research to provide the evidence base for policy proposals
- encourage all levels of government to support evidence-based policy initiatives to address the overweight and obesity epidemic, and
- provide leadership to guide and assist researchers and policy professionals working on obesity and overweight issues in Australia.
Legal and regulatory focus
The Obesity Policy Coalition aims to help bring about:
- enforcement of existing laws that support obesity prevention – by persuading regulatory agencies to take enforcement action, particularly in relation to food marketing practices
- law reform to support obesity prevention – by advocating for reform or development of law and regulation that may help prevent obesity, for example, in relation to:
- advertising and marketing
- food labelling
- health levy on sugary drinks.
Cancer Council Victoria, Deakin University and VicHealth are partners in the Obesity Policy Coalition.
Meet the staff of the Obesity Policy Coalition.
Get in touch with the Obesity Policy Coaltion.