17 September 2021
Health and Wellbeing Queensland (HWQld) has today announced a $68 million investment to support community-based programs to improve Queenslanders’ health and wellbeing.
This significant funding injection comes as new Queensland research showed 45% of Queenslanders self-reported to have gained weight during COVID-19, with 21% reporting a weight gain of over 5kg.
Deadly Choices, Jamie’s Ministry of Food, 10,000 Steps, QCWA Country Kitchens, My health for life, and Healthier Tuckshops Program will use the funding to provide free and low-cost healthy lifestyle support programs to communities across the state.
HWQld Chief Executive Dr Robyn Littlewood said that while the statistics are alarming, programs aimed at prevention and creating sustainable health habits are the path forward.
“The pandemic has been the biggest health disruption in a generation, and the long-term impacts of the pandemic on Queenslanders, particularly how it challenged people’s access to health and fitness are only just starting to reveal themselves,” said Dr Littlewood.
“2 in 3 Queensland adults, and 1 in 4 Queensland children are living with overweight or obesity. We simply cannot afford for these figures to worsen.
“COVID-19 has made what was already a big challenge even bigger, but we’ve been working hard to establish and enable healthly lifestyle supports in communities so we can help Queenslanders’ with this challenge no matter who they are or where they live.”
Dr Littlewood said the investment was an acknowledgement of the Queensland government’s commitment to preventative health and reducing the burden of chronic disease both on the health system, and Queensland families and communities.
“We established Health and Wellbeing Queensland in 2019 because we understood that many of the underlying causes of poor health, including obesity, were determined by the environments where we live, work, learn and play and that investing in programs that support people in their communities was the only way forward,” said Dr Littlewood.
Dr Littlewood said other highlights from the research included:
- Only 1 in 3 people are eating fruit and vegetables daily, with a further 6% percent drop in consumption experienced in the six months from October 2020 to April 2021
- Only 27% of people reported an increase in health as a priority since COVID
- Only 2 in 5 people reported to be highly motivated to maintain good health
- Mental wellbeing is a growing concern for 41% of people, especially people under the age of 40.
- Exercise and better sleep were the top two health priority areas
“Our partners are committed to providing easy access to information and support on better nutrition, improved physical activity, and general wellbeing. We’re thrilled to be able provide Queenslanders more access to their life-changing programs,” she said.
HWQld is a statutory authority established by the State Government to tackle the overweight and obesity crisis and the burden of chronic disease it brings to the health system.
HWQld is focussed on improving accessibility to health and wellbeing programs for First Nations, children and schools, as well on clinical prevention, communities, research, and Equity Frameworks.
View our range of health and wellbeing programs.
Health and Wellbeing Queensland was established in July 2019 to improve the health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders and reduce health inequities. We are an independent organisation that works in partnership, so all Queenslanders have the best chance to live a healthier life, no matter who they are, or where they live.
*My health for life – What Queenslanders Think About Their Health Pulse Research Wave 1 (October 2020) Wave 2 (April 2021) Queensland residents aged 18+