Chronic disease and systems
A lot of work in prevention has targeted individual behaviour, but many things, including where we work, eat, play and live, and our access to work and education, all affect our health. It is not enough to simply urge Australians to eat better and exercise more.
We need to look at the wider systems that can help or hinder behaviours that cause chronic health problems. We need to look in depth at our communities, our food systems, our environments and work places and how each of these interacts to create communities in which healthy behaviours are the easier, more sustainable choices.
Systems thinking helps us to look at these wider systems. Rather than just tackling the tip of the iceberg, systems thinking delves below the surface and identifies the fundamental and interconnecting causes of complex issues such as lifestyle-related chronic disease.