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A systematic policy approach to changing the food system and physical activity environments to prevent obesity

Sacks, Gary, Swinburn, Boyd and Lawrence, Mark 2008, A systematic policy approach to changing the food system and physical activity environments to prevent obesity, Australia and New Zealand health policy, vol. 5, no. 13, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1186/1743-8462-5-13.

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Title A systematic policy approach to changing the food system and physical activity environments to prevent obesity
Author(s) Sacks, GaryORCID iD for Sacks, Gary orcid.org/0000-0001-9736-1539
Swinburn, Boyd
Lawrence, MarkORCID iD for Lawrence, Mark orcid.org/0000-0001-6899-3983
Journal name Australia and New Zealand health policy
Volume number 5
Issue number 13
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publication date 2008-06-05
ISSN 1743-8462
Summary As obesity prevention becomes an increasing health priority in many countries, including Australia
and New Zealand, the challenge that governments are now facing is how to adopt a systematic
policy approach to increase healthy eating and regular physical activity. This article sets out a
structure for systematically identifying areas for obesity prevention policy action across the food
system and full range of physical activity environments. Areas amenable to policy intervention can
be systematically identified by considering policy opportunities for each level of governance (local,
state, national, international and organisational) in each sector of the food system (primary
production, food processing, distribution, marketing, retail, catering and food service) and each
sector that influences physical activity environments (infrastructure and planning, education,
employment, transport, sport and recreation). Analysis grids are used to illustrate, in a structured
fashion, the broad array of areas amenable to legal and regulatory intervention across all levels of
governance and all relevant sectors. In the Australian context, potential regulatory policy
intervention areas are widespread throughout the food system, e.g., land-use zoning (primary
production within local government), food safety (food processing within state government), food
labelling (retail within national government). Policy areas for influencing physical activity are
predominantly local and state government responsibilities including, for example, walking and
cycling environments (infrastructure and planning sector) and physical activity education in schools
(education sector). The analysis structure presented in this article provides a tool to systematically
identify policy gaps, barriers and opportunities for obesity prevention, as part of the process of
developing and implementing a comprehensive obesity prevention strategy. It also serves to
highlight the need for a coordinated approach to policy development and implementation across
all levels of government in order to ensure complementary policy action.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1743-8462-5-13
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Sacks et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017353

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.