Central Australian Aboriginal Congress accepts that the draft strategy is comprehensive and that it acknowledges the broad factors that influence the high rates of obesity in Australia. By including principles on empowerment, selfdetermination, diversity, culture and equity, the strategy recognizes prevention is not simply about individual choice and education.
However, Congress believes the Strategy should include a more specific focus on the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, given the significantly higher rates of obesity amongst our communities.
- That the Strategy includes recognition that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, programs to reduce obesity should incorporate positive attitudes to Aboriginal culture and ways of being, and be resourced to be trauma-informed and healing-focused.
- That the Strategy includes subsided access to tertiary prevention and treatment options as a health intervention for those with chronic disease or where other weight loss options are ineffective.
- That the Strategy recommend a mandatory ban on all advertising of unhealthy foods and drinks to children
The Strategy must also recommend much stronger government regulatory action to effectively address obesity in Australia, in line with a substantial evidence-base. A clear analogy can be made with the way the government has approached alcohol policy reform at a population level and in a manner with regulates the market to achieve the required health outcomes.