Healthy Eating and Food Systems

Overview

The Inner East councils have identified healthy eating and access to safe and nutritious food as a priority in their Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans. Increasing Healthy Eating is a focus area for the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2019 – 2023.

The Inner East Primary Care Partnership recognises that there is a need to focus on improving access to fresh and nutritious food, by changing the environment to ensure greater access to the population across all settings where food is provided (workplaces, schools, sporting clubs etc). There are also specific priority populations that experience food insecurity and don’t have the necessary means to purchase fresh and nutritious food. Taking a food systems approach to these wicked problems helps us to identify opportunities and leverage points to promote change.

The Inner East PCP works in collaboration with our partners to support the implementation of best-practice approaches to improve the food system of the Inner East. Inner East PCP, in partnership with Outer East PCP, coordinate the Healthy Choices Community Of Practice. This community of practice brings together practitioners from the Inner and Outer East, who work to promote healthy eating in their regions.

Promoting healthy eating and healthier food systems also promote the prevention of obesity, by addressing some of the key drivers of lifestyle related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Inner East PCP is involved in a systems level investigation of the drivers of obesity, with local leadership. In December 2019 we hosted an Obesity Prevention Summit.

Why is healthy eating and food systems priority?

The rising prevalence of overweight and obesity remains an AIHW National Health Priority Area in Australia. Over the last three decades, prevalence has steadily increased. Sixty two percent of Australian adults and 24% of children and adolescents are classified as overweight or obese. As a result, all State and local governments have incorporated action to prevent or minimise overweight and obesity in their Health and Wellbeing Plans.

The 1986 Ottawa Charter states that communities should be provided with supportive environments and opportunities to make healthy choices to allow them to achieve their fullest health potential. However, modern lifestyles favour high energy intakes and sedentary behaviours. Behaviours are influenced by obesogenic environments where the surroundings and opportunities to access fresh and nutritious food have the effect of promoting obesity in populations.

In order to achieve a healthy diet, individuals need to be food secure. Food security means having a sustainable food system that ensures access for all to nutritionally adequate, affordable, culturally acceptable and safe food. Food security considers sustainability; accessibility; affordability; cultural appropriateness; nutritional adequacy, and food safety.

 

Resources:

Title Date Type Author Files
IEPCP 2019 Case Study Obesity Prevention
19/11/2019 Document Inner East Primary Care Partnership
Swinburne University submission to the Senate Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia

Endorsed by Women’s Health Victoria and Health at Every Size Australia

10/09/2018 Report Swinburne University of Technology
A Case for Change: Boroondara

Gathering the evidence for healthy food and drink initiatives:Boroondara

05/01/2017 Report Inner East Primary Care Partnership
A Case for Change: Manningham

Gathering the evidence for healthy food and drink initiatives: Manningham

05/01/2017 Report Inner East Primary Care Partnership
A Case for Change: Monash

Gathering the evidence for healthy food and drink initiatives: Monash

05/01/2017 Report Inner East Primary Care Partnership
A Case for Change: Whitehorse

Gathering the evidence for healthy food and drink initiatives: Whitehorse

05/01/2017 Resource Inner East Primary Care Partnership
A Case for Change

Gathering the evidence for healthy food and drink initiatives in Melbourne’s inner east.

05/01/2017 Report Inner East Primary Care Partnership
Catchment Area Assessment of the Food Environment

Summary of the catchment area assessment for developing a coordinated and targeted food access strategy in the Inner East Region of Melbourne.

05/01/2017 Document Inner East Primary Care Partnership
From Farm to Fork

Investigating the food system to improve food security in the Eastern Metropolitan Region of Victoria: Project Report 2015

05/01/2017 Report Inner East Primary Care Partnership
We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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