Queensland Obesity Prevention Strategy

Queensland’s response to the National Obesity Strategy 2022 - 2032

Health and Wellbeing Queensland (HWQld) is leading Queensland’s implementation response to the National Obesity Strategy 2022-2032 (NOS), released in March 2022.

We’re developing the Queensland Obesity Prevention Strategy (2023-2032) (working title) and a series of Action Plans. The strategy will be delivered across a 10+10 timeframe – 10 years to bolster existing initiatives and deliver innovative approaches to create systems change, and the second decade will focus on benefits realisation.     

The first 10 years will focus on driving change across 3 phases, each supported by an action plan:   

  • Strengthen 2023-2025: will focus on establishing strong foundations for change  
  • Innovate 2025-2029: will focus on bold innovation and transformational change  
  • Accelerate 2029-2032: will centre on amplifying and scaling success to achieve sustainable changes.  

The incidence and impact of overweight and obesity is significant.

In Queensland:

  • 2 in 3 adults and 1 in 4 children live with overweight and obesity 1 
  • Queensland children living in the most disadvantaged areas are over 2 times more likely to be obese than children in more advantaged areas 5 
  • Obesity costs the Queensland health system $756m per year 2


  • Obesity is costing $11.8b across the nation 4
  • Each Australian pays an additional $678 tax each year to cover the cost of obesity 6
  • Overweight and obesity rates are almost double in First Nations children 7
  • Obesity is also the second leading predictor, after age, for COVID-19 complications and mortality. 8

Conditions that affect health often sit outside of health. That’s why we’re addressing things such as the home environment and social and community factors.

Our vision is for a Queensland that encourages and enables a healthy weight and lifestyle for all

We’re delivering a strategy tailored for Queensland and action plans for 2 10-year timeframes (2023-2032 and 2032-2042) plus ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the strategy and action plans.

The Queensland Obesity Prevention Strategy will be a balanced portfolio of actions spanning the 3 ambitions of the NOS:

  1. Creating supportive, sustainable and healthy environments
  2. Empowering people to stay as healthy as they can
  3. Access to early intervention and supportive health care

It will:

  • Guide the Queensland Government, partners and community in collaborative and cross-sectoral action
  • Help change factors that promote unhealthy weight gain
  • Support people living with higher body weight
  • Be comprehensive and evidence-based
  • Reduce inequity by addressing broader socioeconomic determinants and environmental factors
  • Tackle weight stigma and discrimination
  • Amplify existing actions and initiatives
  • Connect people and create new approaches for the future.

How is QOPS being developed?

Initial engagement

In July 2022, we engaged with almost 1,000 Queenslanders across the community, other sectors and government.

We listened to and spoke with:

  • Community members, including those from priority populations and with lived experiences
  • Health and community workforce across metropolitan, regional and rural Queensland
  • Other government departments, prevention partners and industry.

These consultations build on what Queenslanders said during the 2019 National Obesity Strategy consultations.

HWQld has created Insights from Engagement Round 1 which identifies the following key themes and priority actions:

  • Equity
  • Government leadership and collaboration
  • Local and community-led solutions
  • Capacity building and education.
Priority Actions
  • Access and consumption of healthy and sustainable food
  • Access to physical activity and healthy environments
  • Empowering people to stay healthy
  • Access to early intervention and care.

Second phase of engagement

Second consultation was open from 24 October to 30 November 2022, where we received online survey responses, held community discussion panels, webinars, and meetings with Queensland and national peak bodies across medical, health, government and community sector, not-for-profit and industry organisations.

Together, these engagement opportunities delivered significant insights to further inform the development of the Strategy. The team at Health and Wellbeing Queensland is now analysing data from this period and is planning to release an insights report in early 2023.

The outcomes from the second phase of engagement will be used to finalise the Strategy and seek its official endorsement and launch in 2023.


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1 Australian Bureau of Statistics. National Health Survey: State and territory findings. 2018. | 2 The Queensland Cabinet and Ministerial Directory (2022). Queensland leads the way in tackling nation’s obesity crisis. Media statement. | 3 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia’s health 2020: Overweight and obesity. 2020 | 4 The Queensland Ministerial Directory (2022). Queensland leads the way in tackling nation’s obesity crisis. Media statement 5 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia’s health 2020: Overweight and obesity. 2020 | 6 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The Heavy Burden of Obesity: The Economics of Prevention. OECD; 2019. 1p. | 7 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2020) Overweight and obesity: an interactive insight. | 8 Li et al (2021) – The Impact of Obesity on SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Mortality Risk and AbdelMassih et al (2020) – Obese communities among the best predictors of COVID-19-related deaths

Last updated 1 December 2022