The recent announcements by Health Minister, Tony Abbott, to tackle obesity, which is fast becoming public health enemy No.1, has failed to impress AMA President Mukesh Haikerwal. The president wants the initiatives to be much more forceful so that problem can be tackled more effectively.
The minister had announced a new ministerial taskforce for an anti-obesity campaign involving industry and the community. The new ministerial task force also has Education Minister, Julie Bishop, along with the Health Minister.
The announcement included a $3 million survey to determine the eating habits of young Australians and their physical activity levels and also establishing websites on healthy weight and also extending existing programs for healthy living. Dr. Haikerwal however raised doubts about the fairness of the survey and its results as Australian Food and Grocery Council is also involved in the funding of the survey.
Dr. Haikerwal while acknowledging the need for taskforce stressed the importance of task force being more task-oriented for them to be more effective. He also hoped that the inclusion of Communication Minister in the taskforce would bring about a ban on advertising of junk foods.