WA Healthy Weight Action Plan

The WA Healthy Weight Action Plan 2019-2024 (hereafter, the Action Plan) is a joint initiative of WA Health, WA Primary Health Alliance, and Health Consumers' Council to create a roadmap for sustainable changes to support people and families who are at-risk of overweight (those at the high end of the healthy weight body mass index range) and those with overweight and obesity. It is the first step of many to create a coordinated approach across health to tackle the complex causes of overweight and obesity and work with our partners across WA to drive long-term change.

The Action Plan focusses on people at-risk of becoming overweight and those currently with overweight and obesity. It looks to create change in early intervention and management space, while supporting the preventive work currently being undertaken by the WA health sector.
  • Early intervention: the provision of support or interventions to an individual person or family at-risk of developing overweight (at the high end of the healthy weight range) to prevent a foreseeable decline in their health.
  • Management: the provision of support or interventions to a person or family with overweight or obesity that will enhance health and wellbeing outcomes, prevent further weight gain or support weight loss. Management services can incorporate a range of social, psychological, medical and surgical assistance delivered by a range of professionals and peer supports in an integrated care framework.
The Action Plan is intended to be a catalyst to support ongoing system-wide change and reorientation of services. A key function of the Action Plan is to enable and maintain innovation and continuous quality improvement in the way the public health system plans, funds and delivers early intervention and weight management services and programs.
Working together

The the Action Plan was the key deliverable of the Obesity Collaborative Project, run by Health Networks in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance (external site) and Health Consumers' Council (external site). This core partnership ensured that peoples lived experiences were central at every point of development of the project and development of the Action Plan and that the actions impacted all levels of health from primary care through to hospitals. 

We brought together people from across health industry who wanted to make a difference in the lives of people living with overweight or obesity. Health Consumers' Council ran several forms of engagement for people with lived experience to make sure as many people as possible could contribute in a way that worked for them.
A new approach for action

To achieve the required shift in thinking to tackle obesity effectively, action needs to be addressed through a systems approach. 

A system is a collection of interdependent components where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; when one component of a system is changed other parts of the system are impacted. Public Health England developed the Whole of Systems Approach to Obesity (external site) which shows how a complex issue such as obesity can be effectively tackled through partnerships and systems thinking. The Action Plan uses this effective approach to define what can be done in WA and how we can work together to create long-term change.

Overweight and obesity are complex health and social issues that are caused by an intricate web of factors. It is important that we continue to work together to implement positive and effective changes across government and non-government agencies in WA to build a society that makes the healthy choice the easy choice. 

The Action Plan outlines key first steps to tackle overweight and obesity. We will focus on continuing to connect and collaborate with people in the community, and health and social service organisations to make sure the actions are implemented over the next 5 years.

Connecting to other work

The Action Plan supports strategic policy initiatives occurring at the State and National level including:

Last reviewed: 28-03-2019
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Health Networks