Preventative health task force report

By Meeghan, 9 September, 2009

In an effort to get people healthy the Australian Government established a preventative health taskforce in early 2008. The role of the taskforce is to provide evidence-based advice to the government on preventative health strategies directly related to chronic disease caused by obesity, tobacco and the excessive consumption of alcohol.

Earlier this month the long awaited taskforce report, Australia: the healthiest country by 2020, was released with a number of interesting recommendations. Proposals include increasing the cost of cigarettes to $20 a pack in a bid to slash smoking, requiring restaurants to state the number of kilojoules in dishes on their menus and calls for tax incentives for people who use public transport or buy gym memberships. The catch being taxpayers need to produce ‘attendance records’ to show they have actually worked out!

While Treasurer Wayne Swan was quick to point out these recommendations are “simply a report”, Nicola Roxon, Minister for Health and Ageing believes the key to a sustainable Australian health system lies in the preventation of illness and chronic disease. She directly challenges and encourages us as a community to respond to these recommendations and provide our own input. As the minister puts it in her foreword, the ball is now in your court! Find out more about the Preventative Health Taskforce.

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