Business Lends its Weight to Healthy Weight

7 March 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

The ACT Government, Canberra Business Chamber and five local businesses have joined forces to help Canberrans make healthier lifestyle choices.

“The Healthy Weight Initiative has been implemented by the ACT Government to combat the high rates of overweight and obesity in the Territory,” Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Robyn Hendry said.

“Almost two-thirds of ACT adults and a quarter of our children are overweight or obese. As a result they are more at risk of serious and chronic conditions such as premature cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

Canberra Business Chamber is partnering with the ACT Government on a pilot program designed to identify ways ACT businesses can contribute to improving the health of Canberrans.

“Businesses want to be part of the solution. Supermarkets, restaurants and cafes are often the main source for our food purchases. These businesses can help encourage Canberrans, particularly children, to make healthier food choices,” Ms Hendry said.

The ‘Choose Healthier’ local business pilot project was officially launched this morning by the Assistant Minister for Health, Meegan Fitzharris.

“The Hellenic Club, Limelight Cinema, Nicholls IGA and Drakeford IGA in Kambah, and Tommy & Me café in Macgregor are all taking part in the pilot,” Ms Hendry revealed.

Canberra Business Chamber will work with each of these businesses to develop ways to support patrons in making healthier choices. The businesses will kick off their ‘Choose Healthier’ initiatives on 1 April 2016.

“These businesses will develop and test measures to reduce marketing and access to unhealthy foods by children. We want to develop ideas that improve health outcomes without impacting on businesses’ bottom line,” Ms Hendry explained.

Assistant Minister for Health Meegan Fitzharris said, “The pilot project is a new and innovative way for the ACT Government to work with local businesses to help tackle the challenge of obesity in our community.

“It will showcase the important role local businesses can play in making it easier for people to make healthier choices, and how we can work together towards the target of zero growth for obesity under the Healthy Weight Action Plan.”

The ACT Government and Canberra Business Chamber plan to use the lessons learnt from this pilot to underpin a wider roll-out in the future.

“I’d like to thank the businesses who are taking part,” Ms Hendry said. “I commend Patrick McKenna, Michael Singh, Terry Karkazis, Michelle Musiello and their teams for working with us towards a healthier Canberra.”

Media Contact: Robyn Hendry, CEO Canberra Business Chamber 0418 462 151