News and events

Must-read articles about prevention

Will Posting Nutritional Information on Menus Prod Diners to Make Healthier Choices?

JAMA Network, May 15: On May 7, all US chain restaurants with 20 or more locations—and that includes coffee shops, bakeries, and movie theaters that sell food—had to start posting the calorie content of their menu items. But will it work?

Australia’s obesity crisis to be examined

SBS, May 11: A new parliamentary inquiry will examine the impacts of Australians’ bulging waistlines. The Senate has voted to establish the select committee, with the idea put forward by Greens leader and medical doctor Richard Di Natale. The inquiry will look at the causes of rising levels of obese and overweight people in Australia and how the issue affects children.

A timely wrap of tweeted news from #Prevention2018, with war stories and strategies

Croakey, May 9: The recent Public Health Prevention Conference 2018 was too close to the Federal Budget to make a difference to the Budget outcomes, but it was just close enough to provide a vivid contrast to the Budget, which will not be remembered as particularly auspicious for public health and equity.

Budget 2018 boosts aged care, rural health and medical research: health experts respond

The Conversation, May 8: The winners of this year’s health budget are aged care, rural health and medical research.

A great BIG wrap of #HealthBudget18 reaction – the good, the bad and the absent

Croakey, May 8: This post compiles reaction to health-related measures in the Federal Budget, regarding the social determinants of health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, climate change, public health and prevention, healthcare reform, mental health, aged care, rural and remote health, the NDIS, and medical research.

Children living in green neighbourhoods are less likely to develop asthma

The Conversation, 8 May 2018: New research shows that children who live in greener neighbourhoods are less likely to develop asthma, and that the more diverse the plant life is, the more they are protected.

Calling dietary guidelines ‘wrong’ ignores the science

The Guardian, 7 May 2018: If we really want to fix our obesity problems, we have to make it easier for everyone to eat right.

Sooner than you realise: smoking killing people as young as 30

The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 May 2018: Smoking killed 179 people in their 30s and 40s in 2011 according to a new report from the Victorian health department.

Sweet power: the politics of sugar, sugary drinks and poor nutrition in Australia

Croakey, 4 May 2018: There is a clear need for a sugar-sweetened beverage tax and a national strategy to reduce obesity, but why does Big Food hold such a powerful grip on Australian food and nutrition policy?

Time to change the advertising rules around schools

Croakey, 2 May 2018: Researchers from Curtin University have found a third of all advertising in bus shelters within 500m from schools were for unhealthy products, and more than half of these promoted junk food.

The biggest health challenge of the 21st century – and how little we know about it

Croakey, 2 May 2018: In not much more than a generation, we have transitioned from a world in which infectious diseases were the greatest health challenge to one in which multiple chronic illnesses and disability are the biggest threat.

Big sugar and the ‘big flaw’ in Australia’s federal health programs

ABC, 30 April 2018: Australia is now one of the fattest nations on Earth. Despite this, we still have no national obesity strategy.

Tobacco in Australia: time to get back to basics

MJA InSight, 30 April 2018: Political complacency in recent years has led to lack of action and allowed distractions to dominate the public and policy arenas.

‘Healthy obesity’: is there such a thing?

SBS News, 27 April 2018: You might be feeling ‘fit and fat’ now, but a leading expert says that if you are obese, it’ll only be a matter of time before obesity-related health problems catch up with you.

We can change our brain and its ability to cope with disease with simple lifestyle choices

The Conversation, 24 April 2018: How can exercise, meditation and hypnosis change our brains and potentially prevent disease?

High caffeine linked to child weight gain

SBS News, 24 April 2018: A new study has found young children who were exposed to moderate to high levels of caffeine in the womb are more likely to gain excess weight.

Australian public hospitals cannot meet rising demand for obesity care, experts warn

ABC Online, 23 April 2018: The vast majority of Australians living with clinically severe obesity cannot access specialist healthcare in the public hospital system, a study has found.

Artificial sweeteners linked to diabetes and obesity

The Conversation, 23 April 2018: With many countries introducing a sugar tax to improve the health of their citizens, food and drink companies are changing their products to include sweeteners instead of sugar. However, there is growing evidence that sweeteners may have health consequences of their own.

Study highlights need for strength training in older women to ward off effects of aging

Science Daily, 23 April 2018: Regular physical activity may help older women increase their mobility, but muscle strength and endurance are likely to succumb to the effects of frailty if they haven’t also been doing resistance training.

Flu jab offer made compulsory for aged-care staff

ABC, 22 April 2018: The Federal Government is ordering aged-care homes to offer staff a flu vaccination this year after last year’s deadly influenza season saw about 1000 people aged over 65 die of influenza-related complications.

NT royal commission: ‘Record investment’ to reform ‘broken’ NT child protection and youth justice system

ABC, 20 April 2018: More than 200 recommendations from the royal commission into youth detention and child protection are to be funded by the NT Government, in a bid to reform the Territory’s “broken” youth justice system.

Report reveals the worst towns for smoking in pregnancy

The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 April 2018: One in five mums smoked during pregnancy in the western Queensland primary health network area, according to figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Better health and diet well before conception results in healthier pregnancies

The Conversation, 18 April 2018: A series of papers published this week in The Lancet argues women’s health in the months and years before they become pregnant can impact on their health during pregnancy and the baby’s development.

Legal highs: arguments for and against legalising cannabis in Australia

The Conversation, 17 April 2018: Greens leader Richard Di Natale has proposed cannabis should be legalised and sold in plain packaging, with its wholesale distribution monopolised by a new government agency. So what are the pros and cons of legalising cannabis?

New blood pressure guidelines may make millions anxious that they’re at risk of heart disease

The Conversation, 17 April 2018: Reducing the threshold for diagnosing high blood pressure to a systolic reading of 130mmHg, as recommended by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, is likely to harm up to 80% of those newly diagnosed, says an analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine.

It’s time for the sweetest tax of them all

The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 April 2018: Never before has a tax been such an instant success. I am talking about what happened in Britain last Friday. That’s when new so-called sugar tax sprung into life, with much of its work already done.