Making Healthy Happen: Queensland’s new approach to obesity prevention released

Family of 4 riding bicycles while wearing helmets

Health and Wellbeing Queensland (HWQld) is proud to announce that Queensland’s new strategy to prevent, reduce and treat obesity has been released.   

Making Healthy Happen 2032 is the state’s comprehensive and forward-thinking response to the National Obesity Strategy 2022–2032.   

HWQld Chief Executive Officer Dr Robyn Littlewood said the Strategy and its initial Action Plan was Queensland’s strongest commitment in decades to enhance health and wellbeing across the state and create better long-term health.  

‘This is a critical milestone for the Queensland Government and marks a significant step forward in our collective efforts to undo the harmful systems that make it hard for all Queenslanders to be healthy,’ Dr Littlewood said.   

‘Research underscores the urgency of these efforts, including that without action, children born this decade would live a shorter life than their parents, due to obesity.    

‘This Strategy is the critical foundation of the generational change required to protect the future health of Queenslanders and ease the burden on our state’s world-class health system.’   

Implementation of the Making Healthy Happen 2024-2026 Action Plan (the Action Plan), the first of three action plans that will bring this approach to life, has already started led by Health and Wellbeing Queensland.  

The Strategy and action plans will help accelerate existing initiatives and deliver flagship programs. The primary focus of these action plans will be on changing the systems and environments that hold obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity in place.    

Despite Queenslanders’ effort to prioritise their health, they often face challenges and environments that encourages unhealthy eating and insufficient levels of physical activity.   

‘Through strategic partnerships across government and the health and community sectors, HWQld will drive impactful change to create a healthier Queensland,’ Dr Littlewood said.    

‘Our commitment to the Strategy and associated action plans is unwavering. We will take responsibility for implementing critical systems change to better support the health of Queenslanders, including the development of prevention strategies that create healthy environments and empower Queenslanders to stay healthy.    

‘We will also better embed obesity prevention, early intervention, and treatment into our healthcare system, while actively working to eliminate the stigma associated with obesity. Through cross-government collaboration, we will regularly monitor and measure the outcomes and impacts of our efforts.   

‘The insights of almost 1,300 consumers and stakeholders were gathered through workshops, webinars, focus groups and online surveys throughout three phases of consultation,’ Dr Littlewood said.   

Making Healthy Happen 2032 includes an immediate action plan with 40 trackable actions across 11 government agencies that will focus on:    

  • Working across government to encourage Queenslanders to enjoy active lives in natural and built environments  
  • Supporting national reform initiatives to make processed food and drinks healthier    
  • Developing and aligning healthy food and drink strategies in healthcare, schools, sport and recreational facilities, and workplaces    
  • Delivering targeted family, youth and school-based activities to promote positive food culture and support the development of healthy habits    
  • Helping Queenslanders learn more about staying healthy through continuous, evidence-based behaviour change campaigns and  
  • Implementing a simplified process for easy referral to prevention programs and resources.    

The name ‘Making Healthy Happen 2032’ was chosen during extensive consultation for the Strategy to reflect what consumers saw as the purpose and intent behind the Strategy, while remaining aspirational and positive.    

Strategy and Action Plan implementation will be underpinned by strong monitoring and evaluation, to assess the effectiveness of our actions, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven adjustments.   

HWQld extends thanks to all the consumers and stakeholders who contributed their valuable insights helping to shape a dynamic and responsive Strategy and Action Plan that reflects the needs and aspirations of all Queenslanders.   

Join us in the delivery of Making Healthy Happen 2032 and the Making Healthy Happen 2024-2026 Action Plan. Together, we are making healthy happen today, for a better tomorrow.  

Media contact:

0439 599 210