What we're doing about overweight and obesity
People put on excess weight for many reasons. Having systems and policies that encourage healthy eating and being active are critical. Find out what we’re doing to help Australians maintain a healthy weight.
Many connected factors lead people to become overweight or obese. Tackling such a complex issue requires a wide-ranging approach. Environment, social context, systems and policies all shape individual decisions.
We have many preventive health measures that support Australians to eat well and be active to reduce overweight and obesity.
Our National Preventive Health Strategy will help improve the health of Australians over the next 10 years, including through encouraging an active lifestyle.
We are also working with state and territory governments on a National Obesity Strategy. This strategy will guide our work to reduce overweight and obesity across Australia over the next 10 years.
The development of the strategy has included:
- a National Obesity Summit – which brought together experts to look at the causes of obesity and what we can do about it
- national consultation – which gave people and organisations a chance to tell us what they thought the strategy should cover.
We are now working with our state and territory colleagues to finalise the strategy.
- are acting on some of the recommendations of the Senate Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic – see the final report
- work on policies and initiatives to support healthy food and nutrition and encourage Australians to be more active.
Initiatives and programs
We fund initiatives and programs to help reduce overweight and obesity in Australia, by encouraging people to:
National research helps us understand the extent and causes of overweight and obesity in Australia. This enables us to develop policies and programs that are relevant and effective. National research includes the:
- National Health Survey – surveyed close to 21,000 people about various aspects of their health
- Australian Health Survey – the largest health survey ever done in Australia, which looked at the years 2011 to 2013
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey – surveyed one-third of all First Nations Australians about their health
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare analysis of overweight and obesity among Australians.
Who we work with
To reduce overweight and obesity in Australia, we work with the:
- state and territory governments to develop a National Obesity Strategy
- National Health and Medical Research Council, including through Eat for Health, which contains the Australian Dietary Guidelines, and the Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity
- Australian Bureau of Statistics, which collects data about Australians’ health, physical activity and diet
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which reports on Australians’ health, physical activity and diet.