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Fit for office

By Julie Bishop - posted Wednesday, 14 April 2010

In 2001 the World Health Organisation adopted the word "globesity" to describe the global obesity epidemic.

Globesity is now a serious threat to the health of most nations and threatens a public health crisis in developed and developing nations.

The WHO is undertaking massive global public awareness campaigns to alert policy makers, the medical profession and the public to the gravity of the problem.


The major solution to this worldwide problem is universally agreed - healthy lifestyle choices including regular physical exercise.

In September last year, the Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon, launched with great fanfare a National Preventative Health Strategy.

The strategy has a focus on three main areas – obesity, tobacco and alcohol.

According to the 2004–2005 National Health Survey about one-third of Australians are regarded as overweight or obese, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that more than 50 per cent of adults are overweight or obese.

More than 70 per cent of Australia's health budget is dedicated to treating chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Obesity is identified as a major factor in the early onset of many chronic illnesses.


Behavioural measures, including healthy lifestyle choices, have been shown to prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease for many people.

To its credit, the Rudd Government has increased funding for preventative health.

It has also allocated millions of dollars for advertising campaigns to educate Australians about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

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First published by the National Times on April 7, 2010

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About the Author

Julie Bishop is the Federal Member for Curtin, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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