- New action plan to support the Sustainable Health Review recommendation to halt the rise in obesity
- Obesity is second only to smoking as the leading contributor to burden of disease in WA
Western Australia could become Australia's healthy weight capital under an ambitious plan to slash obesity rates within the next five years. The State's first Western Australian Healthy Weight Action Plan 2019-2024 has been developed to help WA respond to rising rates of obesity.
The goal is for WA to become the State with the highest percentage of population with a healthy weight by 2029.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data show 67 per cent of Western Australian adults and 25 per cent of children are overweight or obese. These figures are projected to rise to 79 per cent and 30 per cent respectively by 2025.
Projections by the Department of Health estimate that by 2021 excessive weight could cost the WA Health system close to half a billion dollars.
Obesity can significantly impact a person's health - including an increased risk of developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It can also contribute to mental health issues, and affect relationships and employment.
The Action Plan is the result of collaboration between the WA Department of Health, WA Primary Health Alliance, Health Consumers' Council (WA) and over 1,000 stakeholders. It was developed with a focus on the existing consumer journey, to identify gaps and barriers in the health system.
The Action Plan provides practical strategies for lead agencies to implement over the next five years and aims to improve the early intervention and management of weight and obesity in WA.
- improving links between primary health care services and WA hospitals;
- driving local initiatives through partnerships with community groups;
- providing clear referral pathways and information on quality assured programs for GPs;
- improving access to weight management and intervention training for health; professionals; and
- changing how we talk about weight to reduce stigmatisation of obesity.
To view the Plan visit https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/U_Z/WA-healthy-weight-action-plan
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"Obesity is having an increasing impact on the community and undermining the long-term sustainability of Western Australia's health system. By 2021 excessive weight within our community could cost the WA Health system close to half a billion dollars.
"We need to work together at all levels from the community through to the health system in order to bring about positive and sustained change, provide support to people who are overweight or obese and reduce preventable health issues.
"I look forward to this important work being continued across the WA health sector and throughout the State. Reducing the rate of obesity is a collective responsibility - everyone has an important role to play."
Minister's office - 6552 6500