Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition responds to new report on Australians' diets across different stages of life

26 Oct 2018

As new data reveals the poor quality of Australians diets across the country, the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) is calling the urgent development of the recently announced national obesity strategy to tackle Australia’s poor diets and spiralling obesity epidemic.

The OPC’s Executive Manager, Jane Martin says today’s new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report confirms Australians are consuming too much added sugar, saturated fat and sodium and not enough nutritious foods.

“We already know one-third of Australian’s energy intake comes from junk foods.  It’s not surprising that 40% of teenager’s daily dietary intake is made up of foods such as sweets, chips and soft drinks given they are key target of  junk food marketing and promotions.”

“Obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges confronting Australia, and we have a blueprint for change which has been agreed to by around 40 public health, community and academic groups. The Tipping the Sales report identifies eight policy priorities that can be integrated into a national strategy.

It is also important that the strategy has adequate funds to implement the policies and programs that are critical to addressing this problem. By pulling on all the potential levers for change we can tip the scales to make the healthy choice, the easy choice.”

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Nutrition across the life stages report found:

  • About one-third of Australians’ energy is from unhealthy food and drink. Alarmingly this is highest in teenagers aged 14-18 at 41%.
  • As little as 4 in 5 adults (77%) aged 19-50 are not eating enough fruit
  • 99% of children aged 2-18 do not eat enough vegetables

The OPC recommends eight key actions by the government to address the obesity problem as outlined in Tipping the Scales.