PROFESSOR Kerry Mummery, a CQUniversity Professor of Physical Activity and Population Health, says Australia should be looking at prevention approaches rather than treatment when it comes to obesity.
Professor Mummery acknowledges the burden that obesity is currently placing on individuals and on the health care system, but calls for more support in prevention, rather than treatment programs.
At an Inquiry into Obesity in Australia hearing in Brisbane, Wednesday, Doctor Linda Selvey from Queensland Health told the inquiry that Medicare rebates should be made available for accredited weight control programs.
"By recognising obesity as a chronic condition in its own right, rather than just a risk factor for chronic conditions, then that potentially opens up a number of existing Medicare items for people with chronic diseases," she said.
Professor Mummery said "Obesity is a tremendous problem in all age groups and both genders."
"Medicare rebates for accredited weight control programs are only a small step in the fight against obesity.