Plan to tackle obesity will need funding to succeed

11 Nov 2021

The AMA supports the draft strategy to prevent obesity, which recognises the underlying factors to be addressed. But will prevention be adequately funded?

The AMA lodged a submission to the Department of Health’s consultation on the Draft National Obesity Prevention Strategy 2022-2032 earlier this month.

The AMA’s submission is generally supportive of the draft strategy, which has as its overarching vision “For an Australia that encourages and enables health weight and healthy living for all”.

The draft strategy includes an important focus on the underlying factors driving obesity, and the importance of creating supporting environments for health, rather than only focussing on individual behaviour change.

However, the AMA notes that the strategy will have limited impact without a clear, well-funded implementation plan.

The AMA calls for:

  • the publication of a suite of targets (to extend on the single target in the current draft)
  • the development of a national governance committee to oversee the strategy’s implementation
  • specific actions for each sub-strategy with the responsible entity assigned
  • a funding plan that sets out ongoing funding from all governments
  • a monitoring and evaluation framework
  • a framework to protect against conflicts of interest.

The AMA also strongly recommends supporting the role of GPs in early intervention, and prevention programs with local contexts and values.

This submission follows an earlier submission the AMA made in 2019. The final strategy is expected in early 2022.