A new health agency will soon tackle Queensland’s ongoing obesity crisis and help people make positive lifestyle changes.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said Parliament voted today to establish Health and Wellbeing Queensland (HWQ) as a new health promotion agency.
“Queensland’s overweight and obesity rates are alarming – two-thirds of adults and one quarter of children are overweight or obese,” he said.
“I see the impacts every day, as Queenslanders experience discrimination, disability, disease and early death.
“But many of the underlying causes of poor health, including obesity, are determined by the environments where we live, work and play.
“To improve the lives of Queenslanders we need to look beyond the traditional health strategies and tools.
“That’s why we’ve created HWQ, to help people make better choices and live better lives.”
HWQ will be an independent statutory body and will bring together the community, the private sector and all levels of government to drive collaboration and change.
“HWQ will work across our society, including with groups not typically associated with health care services including sporting clubs, parenting groups and transport organisations,” Mr Miles said.
“They will also work with stakeholders and government departments to provide input into policy development and future strategies.”
In addition to establishing HWQ, the Palaszczuk Government has committed funding of $3.59 million in 2019-20 for prevention initiatives to support:
- the delivery of health education in schools;
- supporting school tuckshops to provide healthy food and drink options;
- working with communities to encourage healthy eating and cooking and
- providing community-based walking programs for people of all ages.
“It’s not enough to just treat health concerns when they arise anymore – we have to prevent them in the first place,” Mr Miles said.
“The Palaszczuk Government committed to Keep Queenslanders Healthy,
“And our achievements here show that’s what we’re doing.”
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles