NSW Health launches strategy to target obesity rates

Wednesday, 07 September, 2022

NSW Health launches strategy to target obesity rates

More than one in two adults (56.8%) and one in five children (19.3%) are above a healthy weight in NSW.

Adults who are overweight and obese have an increased risk of developing chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and some cancers, according to NSW Health. Reducing overweight and obesity can lead to substantial population health benefits and improved quality of life through the prevention of chronic disease.​​​

With an aim to boost the health of children and adults across the state over the next decade, NSW Health has launched the NSW Healthy Eating and Active Living Strategy 2022–2032.

Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Marianne Gale said the strategy aims to reduce overweight and obesity in children and young people by 5% and to reverse the trend of obesity in adults by 2030.

"We're continuing to invest in the prevention of overweight and obesity in NSW by supporting people of all ages and working alongside parents and families to support them to live their healthiest lives through eating well and being active," Gale said.

"Improvement in overweight and obesity rates will require a truly collaborative effort over the next decade from across government, business and the community."

The NSW Healthy Eating and Active Living Strategy 2022–2032 aims to address overweight and obesity across the community by focusing on:

  • prevention programs and services to support healthy eating and active living
  • routine advice on healthy eating and active living as part of clinical care
  • social marketing to support behavioural change towards healthy eating and active living
  • healthy food and built environments to support healthy eating and active living.

"People should be able to have an open conversation with their healthcare provider about their wellbeing and weight so they can access advice that helps them make long-term lifestyle changes," Dr Gale said.

"The underlying causes of obesity are complex. We want to create environments that support healthy choices and ensure people are connected to the right support services.

"Some people face significant barriers to adopting healthy eating and active living behaviours. The strategy focuses on supporting those in our community who need it most."

Image credit: iStockphoto.com/fcafotodigital

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