04:00am Monday 18 November 2019

Community to drive local response to obesity prevention

The Yarriambiack Obesity Prevention Response will bring together best-practice and local expertise to support the local community to develop and implement its own plan to reverse the trend of unhealthy weight gain within the Shire.

With funding from the Ian Potter Foundation, Rural Northwest Health and Deakin University, the Yarriambiack Response will develop feasible action plans focused on how to improve the health of the residents.

“Importantly it will be developed by the community for the community, supported by the expertise of the University’s obesity prevention experts for at least the next 12 months,” explained Deakin Research Fellow Jill Whelan.

“Although the Yarriambiack Shire has the highest rate of adult obesity in Victoria, it is above average in physical activity showing there is great potential to make a difference. There are many things the community can work on to reduce the currently high intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and to increase its low intake of fruit and vegetables.”

The obesity prevalence in the Yarriambiack Shire sits at 30 per cent, 13.6 per cent above the Victorian average. The Shire also has the state’s highest daily intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and the third lowest intake of fruit and vegetables.

Rural Northwest Health has campuses in three of the shire’s biggest communities and has thrown its support behind the project.

RNH CEO Catherine Morley said her organisation’s objective was to keep people well at home, which was everyone’s desire.

“A healthy weight range supports people to be medically and physically well,” Ms Morley said.

“It’s in our best interest to fully support this program because the outcomes will be that we have a healthier and more active community. We are lucky to have the expertise available and people committed to helping our communities so we need to make the most of the opportunity.”

Yarriambiack Chief Executive Officer, Ray Campling, said the Council was pleased to be a partner in this project.

“It was a surprise to hear that the Shire had the highest rates of obesity in the State, however we now have an opportunity to address the issue as a community,” Mr Campling said.

“The Yarriambiack Response is a wonderful initiative that provides a unique opportunity for community-wide collaboration to come up with a tailor-made response to improve the health of our residents.”

Media contact

Mandi O’Garretty
Media and Corporate Communications
03 52272776, 0418 361 890

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