On 10 December, ECCQ and the independent consultant team from Social Deck, organised a consultation on a proposed 10-year National Obesity Strategy, focusing on identifying actions to address overweight and obesity in Australia.The strategy was proposed in the context of “more than 14 million people in Australia are overweight and obese. This includes 2 in every 3 adults, and 1 in every 4 children. By 2030, 18 million Australians or more than three quarters of the projected Australian population will be overweight or obese.” (p5, Consultation Paper, November 2019. COAG Health Council). The consultation was open to the public and 23 people were in attendance at the session including ECCQ Board Director- Surendra Prasad and many leaders and community members from CALD backgrounds. During the consultation, participants shared opinions, thoughts and suggestions for consideration by the Government in developing the strategy.
Peter Last, CEO of ECCQ opened the consultation and emphasised the importance of all Australian communities’ contribution and participation including our CALD communities as the key to the success of the proposed strategy. Participants spoke about a variety of issues relating to obesity as well their advice to the government on strategies that have worked for them and could help address the issues. There were suggested solutions around “proposing legal framework to tax more unhealthy foods like other countries have done”; working with schools “schools can provide healthy food for kids while they are there”, “making sport compulsory in school making it a key subject as maths and English”; working with other sectors such as the natural resource industry “to reduce water rates”, employment programs “to help people with stable income to have healthy foods on the table”. There was much feedback and suggestions around working with individuals and families and the whole of the communities and making sure funding and investment goes all the way down to workers who are on the ground supporting and working alongside people at risk: “I don’t think it is about knowledge, I think lots of us know what is healthy or unhealthy, why people are still lazy and still eating unhealthy food. I think we need to do more to change people’s behaviours and to help them choose a good lifestyle. We need people on the ground who understand the health beliefs, the culture and language to support individuals and families.” The session finished with the consultancy team thanking ECCQ and acknowledged the active participation and contribution of its members, stakeholders and staff.
There is still time to provide feedback to the government through online consultations, please participate in the short or long survey online which can be found here.
The consultations close at 11:59pm on Sunday, 15 December 2019.
The consultancy team informed ECCQ that the government will first look at the consultation results and then consider developing a strategy by the end of next year.
For more information about this consultation or the ECCQ Chronic Disease Prevention Program for people from CALD Communities, please contact Ms Hong Do at [email protected], phone: 07 3844 9166, or click here.