Better urban design of our cities and suburbs to encourage people to be active and a greater focus on teaching children the importance of healthy eating and exercise are key recommendations of this report.
The committee has called for national urban planning guidelines that encourage bicycle and pedestrian friendly communities and more facilities for physical activity. The committee would also like more support for school and community programs that teach children and adults to grow, prepare and eat fresh fruit and vegetables as an alternative to high fat, high sugar and high salt foods.
Other recommendations by the Committee include:
• the food industry and government jointly develop guidelines to reformulate food (lowering sugar, salt and fats in processed food) and develop consistent nutritional advice on food labels;
• governments gather more detailed information on the weight of Australians and their levels of physical activity;
• developing better public health campaigns about obesity and the benefits of healthy lifestyles;
• continued support for the Federal Government’s Active After School Communities Program;
• the Treasurer to consider tax incentives to improve the affordability of fresh healthy food and access to physical activity;
• better regulation of weight loss products and programs; and
• establishment of a registry of bariatric surgery (various surgical procedures to assist in weight loss).