As new figures reveal high rates of overweight and obesity right across the country, the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) is calling for a national obesity strategy to address a serious and widespread weight problem.
The OPC's Executive Manager, Jane Martin says the new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report confirms that rates of overweight and obesity are as high as 73 per cent in regional areas and that even regions with ‘low' rates are still too high.
Ms Martin said overweight and obesity has become the norm in our society.
"We've known for some time that rates of overweight and obesity are higher in regional areas, but when the area with the lowest rate is as high as 53 per cent, it's clear we have a serious weight problem," Ms Martin said.
"We need a national healthy weight strategy which includes a comprehensive approach to tackle overweight and obesity in all parts of Australia.
"While there's no silver bullet for reducing overweight and obesity rates, there are key policies which we know can make a significant difference to the health of all Australians."
The OPC recommends four key actions by government to address the obesity problem:
The Healthy Communities: Overweight and obesity rates across Australia, 2014-15 report finds that in 2014-15:
The Obesity Policy Coalition is a group of leading public health agencies who are concerned about the high levels of overweight and obesity, particularly in children.
The Obesity Policy Coalition is a partnership between Diabetes Victoria, Cancer Council Victoria and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University, with funding from VicHealth.