Our environments don’t make it easy to eat well and stay at a healthy weight. By raising awareness and lobbying for change we continue to push government and industry to ensure our environments enable us to make healthy choices. Cancer Council Victoria is involved in several initiatives aimed at reducing obesity including the Obesity Policy Coalition; Rethink Sugary Drink; LiveLighter, Obesity Evidence Hub and the Achievement Program.
Cancer Council Victoria is a partner of the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) that advocates for broader political and regulatory changes to reduce obesity rates at a local, state and national level. It advocates for a comprehensive approach to tackling obesity including calls for a national obesity prevention strategy, restrictions on marketing unhealthy foods to children and improving the mandatory Health Star Rating Labelling system. The OPC also continues to call for a healthy levy on sugary drinks, particularly following the introduction of a similar levy in the UK in April 2018.
Cancer Council Victoria manages the public health education campaign LiveLighter which encourages Victorians to lead healthier lives by changing what they eat and drink, and being more active. LiveLighter aims to encourage public debate about obesity and the need for changes in the community to support healthy eating and physical activity and make sure the healthy choice is also the easy choice.
Cancer Council Victoria is a partner of Rethink Sugary Drink- a collaboration of leading health organisations that aim to increase awareness of the sugar content in sugary drinks and to encourage government, communities, schools and healthcare settings to take steps to decrease sugary drinks consumption.
The Rethink Sugary Drink alliance would also like to see the following actions implemented to tackle sugary drink consumption:
- A public education campaign supported by Australian governments to highlight the health impacts of regular sugary drink consumption
- Restrictions by Australian governments to reduce children's exposure to marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages, including through schools and children's sports, events and activities
- Comprehensive mandatory restrictions by state governments on the sale of sugary drinks (and increased availability of free water) in schools, government institutions, children's sports and places frequented by children
- Development of policies by state and local governments to reduce the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages in workplaces, government institutions, health care settings, sport and recreation facilities and other public places.
The Obesity Evidence Hub is an easy-to-use website that identifies and synthesises key evidence and data in a user-friendly way. It’s valuable for anyone wanting to develop a deeper understanding of obesity issues. That could be anyone from policymakers, journalists, academics and students.
As the first of its kind, the Obesity Evidence Hub will ensure that advocates and decision makers remain as up to date as possible with emerging research developments in a range of areas.
The Obesity Evidence Hub will be a constantly evolving platform, to be refreshed as new data becomes available and trends emerge over time. This first phase will provide data on trends, health impacts and prevention with the second phase expanding to treatment and environmental influences.
The Achievement Program is supported by the Victorian Government and delivered by Cancer Council Victoria. Their vision is for every Victorian to be healthy, well and participate - at work, in school or in early childhood care.
The Achievement Program has been working with Victorian workplaces, schools and early childhood services since 2012 and reaches over 800,000 Victorians. They work with health promotion organisations across Victoria to help support our members in their local area, and our team of trained professionals can offer advice and support to our members when they need it.