Minister for Healthy Lifestyles, Kevin Humphries, today launched the NSW Government’s comprehensive five year strategy to reduce overweight and obesity and improve general health and wellbeing in NSW.
The NSW Healthy Eating Active Living Strategy: Preventing overweight and obesity in NSW 2013-2018 is a whole of government strategy to promote healthy eating, physical activity and the achievement and maintenance of healthy weight in children and adults.
‘The social and economic impact of obesity in NSW in 2008 was estimated by Access Economics to be $19 billion; we need to enable people to stay healthy and out of hospital in order to reduce these costs’ Mr Humphries said.
In 2012, around half the adult population (49.7 per cent) in NSW were overweight or obese.
In 2010, 22.8% per cent of children between 5 and 17 years of age were overweight or obese in NSW.
The strategy will enable the NSW Government to:
- Create supportive environments;
- Deliver high quality state-wide support programs;
- Integrate healthy eating and active living advice into routine health care delivery;
- Provide education and support to encourage individual healthy lifestyle changes.
Mr Humphries said the strategy will deliver a record investment in promoting healthy lifestyles, with more than $136 million to be directed in to evidence-based programs and to target chronic diseases and obesity.
“The strategy encompasses a wide range of programs and initiatives which will be expanded or implemented from January 2014" Minister Humphries said.
“As the year draws to a close and we all begin to celebrate the festive season, it’s a good time to also think about what we can do in 2014 to improve our own health” Minister Humphries said.
The strategy contains a number programs targeting different groups in the community; children, workers, Aboriginal people and culturally diverse groups. These programs will be launched throughout 2014.
Geoff Huegill, former Olympian and Chair of the Premiers Council for Active Living said he is proud to be involved in the strategy.
“I welcome the NSW Government’s efforts to encourage us all to be more active and embrace a healthy lifestyle, and I encourage anyone who wants to improve their level of fitness to take advantage of the opportunities that will be presented,” Mr Huegill said.