Poll shows 76% Aussies want increased funding for preventive health

06 September, 2016

The Roy Morgan Research poll conducted for Research Australia shows 76% Australians rank investment into preventive health among the top ten priorities for the Australian Government.

"Australians are sending a message to Government – we need more preventive measures in place so we can improve our overall health. The majority of Australian adults are either overweight or obese and they are recognising the fact that something needs to done early on to prevent this unhealthy way of life," said Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) CEO Michael Moore.

Over 1000 people participated in the poll which suggests the Government needs to invest in preventive health programs with 83% of Australians trying to lose weight and/or improve their fitness. It also showed 90% of Australians view looking after and/or improving our health as very or extremely important.

"This data is another in the long line of evidence the Government has to invest more in prevention. Prevention is better than cure and the Australian public are tooting the same horn as public health experts. It’s time the Government listened to both," continued Moore also President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA).

The poll also asked if Australians were willing to support a sugar tax on soft drinks. 75% would support the tax with 48% definitely supporting a tax.

"A sugar tax on soft drink is a clear way to reduce obesity and should be implemented in the context of a National Nutrition Policy in order to sensibly address chronic conditions caused by obesity. The poll showed an overwhelming majority of Australians know it is a good move to reduce obesity and improve overall health,

"Mexico, the United Kingdom and some American states have implemented a sugar tax on soft drink with great results. Australia can make a difference to the health of the population by taxing a beverage with zero nutritional benefits consumed by adults and children," said Moore.

Australia’s Health Tracker by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC), shows one in two Australians have a chronic disease yet the Government only invests 1.5% into prevention for chronic diseases. "1000 Australians are calling on the Government to do more and improve the health of the population. This isn’t about losing votes, it’s about doing the right thing for the country and improving the overall health of the Australian people," concluded Moore.