YMCA joins leading health organisation to tackle growing obesity problem

  • Date: 19 September 2017
  • Category: News
Kids group huddle

The Y is one of 36 leading health organisations who are united in urging the federal government to address Australia’s serious obesity problem.

In the ground-breaking new action plan, Tipping the Scales, eight clear, practical, evidence-based actions are outlined for the Australian Federal Government to take to reduce the enormous strain excess weight and poor diets are having on the nation’s physical and economic health. 

Led by the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) and Deakin University’s Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE), Tipping the Scales draws on national and international recommendations to highlight where action is required. Areas include:. 

  1. Time-based restrictions on TV junk food advertising to kids

  2. Set clear food reformulation targets

  3. Make the Health Star Rating mandatory by July 2019

  4. Develop a national active transport strategy

  5. Fund weight-related public education campaigns

  6. Introduce a 20% health levy on sugary drinks

  7. Establish a national obesity taskforce

  8. Develop and monitor national diet, physical activity and weight guidelines.

These policies aim to not only reduce morbidity and mortality, but also improve wellbeing, bring vital benefits to the economy and set Australians up for a healthier future. Obesity poses such an immense threat to Australia’s physical and economic health that it needs its own, standalone prevention strategy if progress is to be made. Currently 63% of Australian adults and 27% of Australian child are overweight or obese. The annual cost is estimated to be $8.6 billion in direct and indirect costs such as GP services, hospital care, absenteeism and government subsidies.

YMCA Advocacy Manager, Ariana Kurzeme said "The YMCA is particularly concerned with the growing rate of obesity and overweight amongst Australian children.

"We have taken action in YMCA managed cafes and kiosks across Victoria by reducing junk food and completely removing sugary drinks.

"We also actively promote physical activity but obesity is a complex issue that must be addressed at multiple levels. 

"That’s why we are throwing our support behind this consensus. More effort and resources needs to be put in to changing the environments that can influence healthy weight rather that treating the health complications that can come with being overweight or obesity. It is placing a huge  strain on our health system."

tipping the scales infographic

Download the Tipping the Scales action plan and snapshot at opc.org.au/tipping-the-scales