Making Healthy Happen 2032

A strategy for preventing
obesity in Queensland

Making Healthy Happen is a bold and ambitious strategy to create a healthier Queensland

The Queensland Government has taken a significant step forward in addressing the common struggle faced by Queenslanders of all ages and backgrounds when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. Despite the efforts by Queenslanders to prioritise their health, they often encounter challenging circumstances and environments that promote unhealthy eating and physical inactivity as the norm.  

To address these challenges and with a vision for a healthier Queensland, the Government released Making Healthy Happen 2032 (PDF, 10 MB)  (the Strategy)

This comprehensive and forward-thinking Strategy acknowledges the complexity of the challenges and demonstrates the government’s commitment to dedicated action to:

  • Make system changes to better support all Queenslanders to maintain a healthy weight, prevent further weight gain or reduce weight.  
  • Develop strategies to create healthy environments and empower people to stay as healthy as they can be. 
  • Better embed prevention, early intervention and treatment into our healthcare system. 
  • Change the narrative around obesity to reduce weight stigma. 

The Strategy is being delivered through a series of 3-year action plans, with the first Making Healthy Happen Action Plan 2024-2026 (PDF, 6MB) (the Action Plan) building the foundation for transformational change.

The Action Plan captures the Queensland Government’s current and planned commitments to obesity prevention, consisting of 40 actions led by 11 government agencies and supported by a wide range of government and non-government stakeholders. 

Health and Wellbeing Queensland will annually monitor and report on the implementation of the Strategy and its associated action plans, as outlined in the Making Healthy Happen Measuring Change Framework (PDF, 429KB). 

Downloads

View the Strategy at a Glance:

Click the links below to download the full Making Healthy Happen Strategy and Action Plan:

Reframing the conversation for Queensland

During consultation on the development of the Strategy it was clear that the way we talk about weight and health can have a big impact on others.  

One of the biggest concerns raised was about how we use the word ‘obesity’. To better understand this issue, Health and Wellbeing Queensland reviewed evidence, consulted with experts and listened to people who have experience with obesity. Based on this information, the Strategy uses ‘obesity’ to talk about the medical condition and when sharing statistics. In the Strategy, ‘obesity’ is used to include both ‘overweight and obesity’ for simplicity. 

When discussing obesity in the Strategy, we aim to be respectful and avoid labelling or judging individuals. We prioritise putting people before the condition, like saying “people living with obesity” instead of “obese people.” 

In the coming years, we will work to reduce weight discrimination. The Strategy will empower consumers to take a leading role in defining appropriate weight-related language to inform statewide guidelines for health and media professionals. 

Resources coming soon. 

Action for the next generation

The Strategy and Action Plan present a powerful opportunity to impact the wellbeing of our next generation of Queenslanders.

Research commissioned by Health and Wellbeing Queensland in 2022 predicted that life expectancy for children born in the decade from 2023 could drop by up to 4 years in the general population if nothing is done to reduce obesity rates. Furthermore, the gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the non-Indigenous population could worsen. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children could lose up to 5 years from their life expectancy due to the impact of overweight and obesity.

What we will do

Through Making Healthy Happen 2032 we will:

  • Change the food and physical activity systems (the many factors that influence an individual’s food and physical activity choices) to make healthier options easier 
  • Support equitable access to effective prevention and supportive healthcare 
  • Empower Queenslanders to eat healthier food and less discretionary food (foods which are not essential for our health), incorporate more physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour 
  • Drive empathetic, non-stigmatising health and weight-related messaging. 

Health and Wellbeing Queensland will partner across government, and work with the health sector, community, and industry to drive the implementation and evaluation of the Strategy and Action Plans.  

We will support a healthier Queensland, regardless of age, background, gender or location, with a focus on those that need it most.  

Changes we want to see by 2032

Ambition 1

Create supportive, sustainable and healthy environments

Queenslanders:
  • Will have improved access to culturally appropriate and affordable healthy food options 
  • Will have safe and affordable opportunities for physical activity 
  • Will see less advertising of unhealthy food and drinks 
  • Will find more healthy food and drink options available outside the home. 
Communities:
  • Will be designed to promote physical activity and provide easy access to local outdoor recreation and active travel opportunities. 
Government:
  • Will have strong leadership and collaboration across government agencies to ensure effective obesity prevention actions. 

Ambition 2

Empower people to stay healthy

Queenslanders: 
  • Will have access to trustworthy and useful health information that considers the options of the community, tailored to the needs of specific groups and local communities 
  • Everyone, regardless of age, will have the opportunity to learn essential skills for healthy eating and physical activity. 
Communities:  
  • Will work together to create and offer programs and services that promote healthy eating and physical activity, with a focus on supporting those who need it most.  
Government: 
  • Will make sure that programs and services promoting healthy eating and physical activity are backed by the latest research 
  • Will promote a positive and balanced approach to weight and health. 

Ambition 3

Enable access to prevention, early intervention and supportive healthcare

Queenslanders: 
  • Will have access to knowledge about health and feel more confident when talking to healthcare professionals about their weight. 
  • Will have timely access to prevention programs and services, alongside a wide range of treatment options. 
Healthcare professionals: 
  • Will understand obesity better and provide caring, inclusive, and supportive options for preventing, intervening early, and treating obesity.  
Government: 
  • Will have strong leadership and collaboration across sectors to prioritise personalised care and make sure services for people with or at risk of obesity are well coordinated. 
  • Will improve the way obesity is managed within the health system, so that people receive continuous care and support. 
  • Will allocate resources to ensure that obesity prevention, early intervention, and treatment options are comprehensive, affordable, easy to access, and supportive within the health system. 

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Last updated 28 May 2024