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This report outlines eight policy actions for the Australian government, established by a comprehensive consensus process as agreed elements to underpin a national obesity prevention plan. There is scope for state/territory governments to address some of these elements where they have jurisdiction.

These policies are drawn from the many national and international recommendations on obesity prevention, have been endorsed by key national community, public health, medical and academic groups, and represent the most critical and urgent components of a national obesity prevention strategy.

Recommended actions

  1. Legislate to implement time-based restrictions on exposure of children (under 16 years of age) to unhealthy food and drink marketing on free-to-air television until 9:30pm.
  2. Set clear reformulation targets for food manufacturers, retailers and caterers with established time periods and regulation to assist compliance if not met.
  3. Make the Health Star Rating System mandatory by July 2019.
  4. Develop and fund a comprehensive national active travel strategy to promote walking, cycling and use of public transport.
  5. Fund high-impact, sustained public education campaigns to improve attitudes and behaviours around diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour.
  6. Federal government to place a health levy on sugary drinks to increase the price by 20%.
  7. Establish obesity prevention as a national priority with a national taskforce, sustained funding, regular and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of key measures and regular reporting around targets.
  8. Develop, support, update and monitor comprehensive and consistent diet, physical activity and weight management national guidelines.


To ensure compliance with food reformulation goals, the partnership must set clear, specific nutrient reformulation targets, with a set timeframe for each target to be met. Ideally, reformulation goals should be backed by government regulation or co-regulation, which will enable action to be taken where food manufacturers fail to meet the targets. It is important that reformulation targets are aligned with the Australian Dietary Guidelines and complement the Health Star Rating System, which has already been observed to generate reformulation of some packaged food products among major Australian manufacturers. There is an opportunity for the Healthy Food Partnership to support manufacturers to make these changes.


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