The RACP Obesity Working Party has developed a position statement on action to prevent obesity and reduce its impact across the life course.

Unhealthy diets are major contributors to obesity, diabetes, dental caries, cardiovascular diseases, mental health conditions and many cancers – the very diseases which fill our hospital beds and general practice clinics and swamp the health budget. Physicians and paediatricians see patients and families every day who are struggling with obesity and related health conditions. They understand that these conditions are influenced by unhealthy diets and low physical activity driven by the obesogenic environment we live in.

The RACP NZ Committee and Policy and Advocacy Council recognise the health burden created by obesity and the need for physicians and paediatricians to advocate for societal and systemic changes which will reduce the prevalence and impact of obesity. These College bodies established the Obesity Working Party, chaired by Professor Boyd Swinburn FRACP to develop a College position. The Working Party was comprised of RACP members based in NZ and Australia with clinical and academic expertise in obesity management treatment and public health, and supported by a robust and critical review of the existing evidence base.

RACP Position Statement on Obesity: Action to prevent obesity and reduce its impact across the life course (PDF)

RACP Obesity Evidence Review: Action to prevent obesity and reduce its impact across the life course (PDF)

Recent submissions

RACP submission Consultation on a National Obesity Strategy 2020-2030
Health Star Rating review August 2017 (PDF)

Advocacy campaigns and events

Call for the urgent release of the National Obesity Strategy - August 2021

The President of the RACP, the Presidents of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine and the Paediatrics and Child Health Division and the Chairs of all Regional Committees have asked Health Minister Greg Hunt for the release of the Preventive National Obesity Strategy for an urgent final review and action. 

The letter stresses the College's concern that the much delayed Strategy is at risk of becoming obsolete and ineffective if not acted on in a timely manner. The letter also notes that work on the Obesity Strategy's treatment aspects should proceed as the second phase of this critical undertaking. 

Similar letters have been issued to all Australian health ministers and Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler. The letter is part of the College's ongoing efforts to tackle the challenge of obesity in a timely and resolute manner. 

2019 Australian Election campaign: Future-proofing the healthcare system

The RACP’s Pre-Budget Submission 2019-2020 (PDF) and Australian Government Election Statement 2019 (PDF) drew attention to the urgent need for climate action and highlighted the importance of measures to tackle climate change, obesity and chronic illness for building a sustainable healthcare system. Childhood obesity was also a focus of our member election advocacy kit. See the factsheet (PDF).

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Related content

Make it the Norm: Equity through the Social Determinants of Health – 2017 NZ Election Statement
Policy and Advocacy Library

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