Healthy Together Geelong is one of 12 prevention areas under the Victorian State Government’s Healthy Together Victoria initiative which is a $100m cluster randomised trial of a novel, ‘whole-of-system’ intervention to halt and reverse rising trends in adulthood obesity.
Healthy Together Geelong operates out of the City of Greater Geelong local government authority in partnership with Barwon Health and Bellarine Community Health.
The purpose of this presenation is to illustrate a number of systemic changes of how a local government has and is reorienting its’ services and planning functions to address determinants of health to improve people’s lives where they live, learn, work and play.
1. Victorian Local Governments are required by an Act of State Parliament to produce and review a Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan. One of the six Action Guides within the City of Greater Geelong plan is titled ‘Improving how we do business in health and wellbeing’. It focusses on leadership, governance and distributing the responsibilities for health acorss the organisation
2. At the Lara swimming pool kiosk we undertook a menu assessment and 98% of food was in the ‘red’ category we altered the menu to only have green and amber food. Results showed:
a. 86% of customers stating they were happy with the healthy menu
b. 72% less saturated fat was sold compared to the previous season
c. 45% less energy or kilojoules was sold compared to the previous season
d. The healthy options only canteen returned a financial surplus
3. We worked with Engineering services to reforumlate their schools traffic planning approach to cater for walking and riding
4. We are bringing a range of health planning techniques and data to the development of Council’s social infrastructure plan and open space strategy
Systemic change to business practices initiatied by health planners can lead to increased health promoting environments and settings without recourse to the ongoing invovlement of health planners.