Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Obesity: House Inquiry Announced

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-04-02

Via House News comes notice of A House Health and Ageing Committee Inquiry into Obesity, with submissions due by 2008-05-16.

Unfortunately, the inquiry is concerned with providing an impact statement, and suggesting new action measures seems to be low on their list of priorities – all talk no action – by the look of the snippet in the House News, which seems to indicate they will only survey already-implemented programs.

Perhaps we need something like Mississippi House Bill 282 (although I think this bill has fixable flaws).

Further details via the contacts page for the committee, but snippets of the announcement over the fold, although I’ve added hot links to the organizations and/or reports cited, which unfortunately, the House News failed to do.

By the way: I haven’t yet found a nice feed for House inquiry announcements like the Senate – hopefully the Rudd government will fix this.  Does anyone know of one?

With obesity rates in Australia already high and growing, the parliamentary inquiry will investigate what the long-term health ramifications are of Australians’ growing waistlines.

According to a 2007 OECD report, Australia has the fifth highest adult obesity rate (21.7 per cent), behind the United States (32.2 per cent), Mexico (30.2 per cent), the United Kingdom (23 per cent) and Greece (21.9 per cent).  The Australasian Society for the Study of Obesity states that around 25 per cent of Australian children are currently overweight or obese, a huge jump from five per cent in the 1960s.  Access Economics calculates that the yearly financial cost of obesity in Australia is in the region of $3.7 billion.

The House of Representatives Committee, chaired by Steve Georganas (Member for Hindmarsh, SA), will investigate the increasing prevalence of obesity in the Australian population and report on future implications for Australia’s health system.

Announcing the inquiry, Mr Georganas said that “there has been a number of studies to-date into the causes and consequences of obesity.  This inquiry into obesity will not simply reiterate these, but rather investigate the impact that obesity is having on the health system now and into the future.  The Committee also intends to survey a range of preventative strategies (implemented by governments, industry, individuals and the broader community) for lowering Australia’s obesity rate amongst children, youth and adults.”

See Also/Notes:

Oz Obesity


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