Australians are currently witnessing the emergence of a public health crisis in the form of escalating rates of overweight and obesity, and Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is calling for more preventative measures to be put in place to protect the physical and mental health of all Australians.
“Overweight and obesity not only compromises quality of life, they are strongly linked to preventable chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, certain cancers, depression, and arthritis, among others,” explained ESSA Chief Executive Officer, Anita Hobson-Powell.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported last year that Australians are not doing the recommended amount of exercise for their age each week. Overweight and obesity, when considered together with insufficient physical activity, is estimated to account for 9% of the total disease burden in Australia.
“It is apparent that part of the solution to the current obesity crisis in Australia will be to create prevention opportunities for future generations of Australians to be more active. The rising rate of overweight and obesity particularly amongst children in Australia has recently led to a more proactive approach from government,” added Hobson-Powell.
In 2018, the Commonwealth Government conducted a Senate Inquiry into the obesity epidemic. Following the inquiry, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed with the recommendation to develop a National Obesity Strategy.
“In February 2019, ESSA attended and contributed to the Commonwealth Government National Obesity Summit in Canberra,” said ESSA Advocacy & Relations Advisor, Leanne Evans.
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