Women’s Health Victoria (WHV) welcomed the opportunity to provide feedback to the draft National Obesity Prevention Strategy in November 2021.
In our survey submission, Women’s Health Victoria provided feedback on the draft Strategy’s target, objectives, ambitions and enablers.
WHV supports the strategy’s proposed aim to support all Australians to have a healthy lifestyle. We recommend that this is framed using a weight-inclusive framework that emphasises health and healthy behaviours as opposed to weight. This aligns with the evidence and the previous consultation paper which states that ‘the strategy will support all Australians to have a healthy lifestyle, regardless of weight.’
When promoting healthy activities, it is important to take a gendered approach. The causes, impacts and barriers to good health differ for males and females and therefore strategies need to consider the specific needs of women and girls.
We are still disappointed to see an overall focus on weight rather than health in this draft Strategy. Focusing on body size rather than healthy behaviours increases weight stigma, which leads to poor health outcomes. A gap in this strategy is the lack of attention paid to eating disorders. Any strategy that focuses on diet and body size must align with existing eating disorder prevention strategies and include measures to prevent eating disorders and body dissatisfaction
Note: This submission was originally made as a response to an online survey.
More information about the consultation can be found here.
Women's Health Victoria (2021) Response to the draft National Obesity Prevention Strategy. Women's Health Victoria. Melbourne.