$1 million dollars to combat obesity

CSIRO announced a pledge to invest over $1 million dollars in additional obesity research this year as part of new cross-sector campaign, #BeTheLast.

obesityAnnouncing the pledge, Professor Manny Noakes, Research Director for Nutrition and Health at CSIRO and author of the Total Wellbeing Diet, said progress has been made on obesity but Australia is a long way from having the disease under control.

“Obesity is a complex issue with physical, psychological, cultural and economic factors. We need collective impact through behavioural change at the individual, family, community and organisational levels. #BeTheLast is a platform for that change.”

Obesity is now the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia, with currently more than 14 million Australians classified as overweight or obese. Directly and indirectly, obesity is estimated to cost the Australian economy $50 billion annually.

The CSIRO $1 million dollar pledge will be invested in research and industry partnerships that develop credible and effective diet and lifestyle programs, including a large trial in Adelaide examining how weight loss approaches can be more personalised.

Initiated by Australian biotechnology company Pro-biotec, the #BeTheLast campaign brings commercial, advocacy, science and community organisations together. Each contributes in a way that is relevant to their organisation and meaningful to Australian communities.

From today, individuals and organisations can make a specific, positive, achievable health pledge in one of four categories: physical activity, nutrition, self monitor, and support and share. Pledges can be added on the #BeTheLast web page, where they can be viewed, shared via social media and ‘liked’. The most popular and the most impactful pledges will receive health-based rewards from campaign partners.

CEO at Probiotec, Wesley Stringer, says the company has always believed a cross-sector approach is needed to combat the obesity epidemic in Australia. That belief led to a partnership with the CSIRO to produce the Impromy weight loss and health improvement program launched in 2014. Today, Impromy is the fastest growing and most effective program in its category – mainly because it focuses on health.

“We need to incentivise Australians at scale and that is exactly what #BeTheLast intends to do: empower Australian people and organisations to commit to something achievable which, collectively, will shift the dial on obesity.”

“We can, indeed we must, be the last generation of Australians to deal with the consequences of obesity at such scale.”

People across Australia can also access free in-pharmacy health checks from #BeTheLast partner, Chemmart, from the 5th to 25th of March 2016

“The #BeTheLast web page also hosts an online 30 second health check that let’s Australians find out where their health stands. We know that many people will be surprised by their result,” said Dusty Stringer, General Manager – Sales & Marketing at Probiotec.

At its launch today, the #BeTheLast campaign already has partners like Fernwood Fitness Women’s Gyms, HelloFresh, Anytime Fitness and a range of other health and fitness organisations offering discounts and free products to pledge participants.

You can add your #BeTheLast pledge at www.impromy.com/bethelast, and follow the campaign on social media via Facebook (BeTheLast), Twitter (@bethelastau) and Instagram (@bethelast).

They say we're 98% water. We're that close to drowning... (Picks up his glass of water from the stool...) I like to live on the edge...”
Steven Wright