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Western Australia aims to become Australia’s healthy weight state

Western Australia aims to become Australia’s healthy weight state
November 28, 2019

Western Australia's first Healthy Weight Action Plan 2019-2024 has been developed to help respond to rising rates of obesity and to see WA become Australia's healthy weight state

The goal is for Western Australia to become the state with the highest percentage of population with a healthy weight by 2029.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data show 67% of Western Australian adults and 25% of children are overweight or obese. These figures are projected to rise to 79% and 30% respectively by 2025.

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.

Western Australian Health Minister Roger Cook notes "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 Western Australian health sector and throughout the State. Reducing the rate of obesity is a collective responsibility - everyone has an important role to play."

The Action Plan is the result of collaboration between the Western Australian Department of Health, Western Australian 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.

Initiatives include:

  • 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

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