Posted: 10:06 am on 8th October 2013

obesityHow many reports do you need to tell you the same thing before you believe it?

If you’re the Federal Government, the answer is: just one more, I promise.

The growing importance of obesity and inactivity as a health issue in Australia is well-known. According to an Australian Medicines Industry report, 18% of Australians were concerned about their partner leading a sedentary lifestyle. 17% were concerned about their partner being obese. 15% thought obesity was the greatest health concern facing their generation, and 26% thought it was the greatest health concern facing ‘the younger generation.’ Obesity, along with cancer and heart problems, is one of our leading health worries.

The Government has responded to this worry – of course – with some reports and surveys of their own.

First, there was the National Physical Activity Survey.

Then there was the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study.

Then there was the Active Australia Survey.

There’s also the National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians.

A look at VicHealth’s research summary report shows even more reports and surveys.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a government body, published six reports between 2007 and 2010 on the issue. The Department for Health and Ageing published five of their own between 1999 and 2009. The Australian Bureau of Statistics published two in 2009. The CSIRO published one in 2008. The National Public Health Partnership chipped in with one in 2001 and another in 2005, while other state bodies have produced more reports and conducted more surveys.

But they’re not finished yet!

Recently, the Federal Government gave nearly $80 000 of your money to a Victorian consulting firm for “research on inactive youth”.

WasteWatch wonders what on earth they’re going to find. Wait, don’t tell me, is inactivity a growing problem for Australian youth?

(Perhaps the Government should spend less money investing in the gaming industry!)

So if you worry about rising obesity levels in Australia, don’t fear, the Government does too. Just don’t get off your couch yet, because there’s another report you should read…

William Shrubb, WasteWatch Intern

Sausage sizzlers, unite! | CIS Waste Watch says:

[…] signed on to the Healthy Eating and Active Living Strategy 2013-2018, the latest in a series of obesity reports and plans, the Department clearly feels obliged to throw good money after […]