In October 2008, the National Preventative Health Taskforce released a discussion paper, Australia: The healthiest country by 2020 and three associated technical papers on obesity, tobacco and alcohol.
These documents formed the basis for conducting consultations and calling for public submissions. The Taskforce publicly invited submissions in response to its discussion paper and received 397 such submissions.
The Taskforce held 40 consultations with almost 1,000 stakeholders in capital cities and select regional centres between October 2008 and February 2009. This included ten thematic round tables bringing together experts and industry representatives to discuss major determinants of smoking, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption. Participants included a mix of people representing industry, public health, professional groups, consumer groups, government, and other non-government organisations. In particular, the thematic roundtables ‘Reshaping the Culture of Drinking’, ‘The Built Environment’, ‘Recreation, Fitness and Weight Loss’, ‘Healthy Workplaces’, ‘Medicines and Prevention’, ‘Private Health Insurance and Prevention’, and ‘Reshaping Demand and Supply in Food’ provided dedicated opportunities for consultation with the relevant industries.
The Department of Health and Ageing, on behalf of the Taskforce, also commissioned a range of research and writing on the following issues to assist with the drafting of their report:
- international chronic disease prevention programs and strategies;
- prevention of alcohol misuse and related harm;
- tobacco control in Australia;
- health equity in Australia: social determinants of obesity, alcohol and tobacco;
- approaches to reducing alcohol, tobacco and obesity in Indigenous communities;
- prevention in primary health;
- inappropriate food marketing;
- obesogenic environments: building a culture of active, connected communities;
- impact of target reductions for risky/high risk drinking on national morbidity and mortality;
- benefits from intervention scenarios on overweight and obesity;
- predicted impact of proposed tobacco control strategies;
- building infrastructure that supports and sustains action; and
- maternal and child health.
This report is the Government’s response to the National Preventative Health Taskforce report.