Policies influencing the provision of healthy food and drinks in local government-owned sport and recreation facilities in Victoria, Australia
journal contributionposted on 2020-06-01, 00:00 authored by D Riesenberg, Miranda BlakeMiranda Blake, Tara Boelsen-RobinsonTara Boelsen-Robinson, Anna PeetersAnna Peeters, Adrian CameronAdrian Cameron
Objective: Sporting facilities owned or managed by local governments (LGs) can promote health by selling healthy food and drinks. This study assessed the policies, attitudes and practices of LGs in Victoria, Australia, relating to obesity prevention and the provision of healthy food in their sporting facilities. Methods: An online survey was e-mailed to all Victorian LGs (n=79) in July 2018. Questions assessed LGs' healthy food policies relating to sport and recreation facilities and the priority LGs give to obesity prevention. Results: Forty-nine LGs (62%) completed the survey from July to November 2018. Obesity prevention and promotion of healthy food and drink were a moderate to high priority for councils. The priority LGs give to healthy food promotion was reported to have increased over the previous year in 55% of LGs. Those LGs in areas of higher socioeconomic position and located in major cities had made more healthy changes at their facilities. Conclusion: Obesity prevention is a priority for LGs, and they are making changes to improve the food environments in their sporting facilities. Greater support may be required for smaller LGs and those in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas to create healthier food environments. Implications for public health: Monitoring changes to healthy eating policies within council facilities is essential to understand how local government actions are contributing to obesity prevention.