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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012-2013 Week 1 Hansard (28 November) . . Page.. 227..


Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Health—preventive measures

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.53): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the Chief Health Officer's 2012 report which found that:

(i) 52.9% of ACT adults were either overweight or obese in 2009-10;

(ii) almost half of all children aged 5 to 17 years were not within a healthy weight range;

(iii) 43.1% of ACT adults are not sufficiently physically active;

(iv) smoking rates had improved but further efforts were required to reduce rates particularly amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders;

(v) chronic conditions accounted for approximately 80% of the total burden of disease and injury in the ACT, with cancer and cardiovascular disease among the leading disease categories;

(vi) the disease burden from chronic diseases is expected to increase over the next decade, largely due to an ageing population and changes in lifestyle; and

(vii) approximately one-third of the overall disease burden can be attributed to largely preventable risk factors that impact adversely on the incidence and prevalence of many chronic conditions; and

(b) the importance of healthy lifestyles and preventative health strategies in reducing the burden of disease and injury on the community; and

(c) the ACT Government's current initiatives in preventative health; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to report back to the Legislative Assembly in 12 months on progress being made by the Whole-of-Government Healthy Weight Group and other efforts being made to reduce the burden of disease.

In speaking to this important matter today, as a former registered nurse I firstly would like to commend the government on its investments to date in preventative health. Importantly, this Labor government has had the foresight to recognise that the investments we make today will deliver enormous benefits to individuals, the wider community and our health system over the longer term. I would also like to commend the Chief Minister on her courage to set the government a bold target to halt the rise in obesity levels. I am sure she will elaborate later on this.


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