This PDF factsheet explains why chronic disease poses an unsustainable burden for the Australian community and why we need a systems approach for prevention.
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of premature death in Australia. If known risk factors were eliminated, 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancers could be prevented. Tobacco and alcohol use are falling in Australia, but obesity is a growing problem. More than 60% of Australian adults are now overweight or obese.
Prevention is cost-effective. Taking action on tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy foods alone would save $6 billion in health costs. Successful prevention requires a broader approach that moves beyond the focus on the individual and recognises the complex causes of chronic disease. A systems approach recognises and intervenes in the root causes of a problem, looking at all the interconnected and inter-related issues.
The Prevention Centre is using systems thinking to attack the problem from many different angles and in coordinated, dynamic and flexible ways. Tackling the whole system means we can create an environment that supports people to make better health decisions and avoid chronic disease.