ACT takes home gold medal for obesity prevention

Released 17/10/2013

The ACT has been named the best performing jurisdiction for obesity prevention activities by the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) with Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Andrew Pengilley this evening accepting the Gold Medal Award on behalf of Chief Minister Katy Gallagher in Melbourne.

ANZOS rates and compares the progress of states and territories on a range of obesity prevention priorities including law reform, policies, public education campaigns, as well as initiatives in monitoring and evaluation.

The ACT came first across all rankings, taking out the gold medal award for obesity prevention - reflecting the proactive approach the government is taking across all portfolios to encourage better physical health.

The Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) was established in 1991, and is made up of medical practitioners, dieticians, scientists and other experts in obesity research and treatments.

"It is a great honour to have been recognised by ANZOS for our actions to reduce obesity and overweight and the whole of government approach we are taking to this area of public policy," the Chief Minister said.

"Despite Canberrans being amongst the healthiest in Australia, the government is addressing the pressure obesity is putting on our collective health and on our health system.

"On Monday we released our 'Towards Zero Growth' action plan which targets people in our community looking for a healthy weight program and make healthy lifestyle choices easier.

"This action plan is the product of more than a year of consultation across the ACT Government, non-government and academic communities. It is a plan that will continue to need strong support and public advocacy to implement some of the harder actions, which are specifically designed to challenge the factors which have driven obesity rates so high.

"And while the government cannot "solve" the obesity challenge, we can show leadership and this award demonstrates we are doing just that," the Chief Minister concluded.

- Statement ends -

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