CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
This World Obesity Day the Turnbull Government must commit to developing a national plan to improve nutrition and physical activity.
Too many Australians are overweight. Around 64 per cent of Australian adults – 11.2 million – are now overweight or obese, and this has serious ramifications for our public health system. Even worse, more than one in four children are overweight or obese.
Expert after expert is warning that Australia needs to do more about an issue which is not only costing our economy billions, but also costing us our quality of life.
Despite this, the Turnbull Government fails to take the issue of obesity seriously, leaving Australia without a national plan for nutrition and physical activity. This is despite more than three dozen other countries having similar plans in place, and despite the Prime Minister’s hollow promise at the National Press Club in February that “a new focus on preventive health” would give Australians “the right tools and information to live active and healthy lives”.
The Liberals have an appalling record on preventive health – they abolished the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health, forcing the closure of successful health promotion programs. This included the Healthy Children program, which provided funding to states and territories to run physical activity and healthy eating programs for children in schools, early childhood centres and preschools. And the abolished the Australian National Preventive Health Agency, the body tasked with oversight for these programs.
What will it take for Malcolm Turnbull to take prevention seriously and implement a plan to tackle obesity?
WEDNESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2017