The Health News Australia October 17 2017

  • The State Government says that Victoria has achieved its best ever immunisation coverage, with ninety four point nine percent of 5-year-olds up to date with their vaccinations. The increased rates were boosted by its No Jab, No Play law, which bans unvaccinated children from attending child care and kindergarten. Australia’s national immunisation coverage sits at 94%
  • A University of Canberra report has found that around seven million Australian adults are failing to manage their health through diet and exercise. The research, commissioned by Bayer, suggests many Australians don’t have the knowledge to manage their health concerns, with only 6 out of 10 people scoring highly on a health-literacy test.
  • A new study has revealed at least 155,000 premature deaths in Australia could be prevented if the energy content of sugary drinks was slashed by a third. New modelling shows a 30 per cent reduction in kilojoules in all sugar-sweetened drinks would not only reverse Australia’s obesity crisis, but drastically reduce the number of people succumbing to obesity-related diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes and kidney cancer.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-15/victorian-immunisation-levels-at-record-highs-government-says/9051294

The State Government says that Victoria has achieved its best ever immunisation coverage, with ninety four point nine percent of five-year-olds up to date with their vaccinations.  The Government said the increased rates were boosted by its No Jab, No Play law, which bans unvaccinated children from attending child care and kindergarten. Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the result meant Victoria had almost reached its “holy grail” target, to achieve herd immunity for those too young or medically unable to be vaccinated.

No Jab, No Play came into effect on January one, last year, after two thousand fifteen saw a dramatic increase in cases of whooping cough in the state. Debate around immunisation focuses on ‘vaccine refusers’ but experts say we cannot ignore the other reasons children miss out on vaccines. Vaccination rates hovered around ninety two percent for a number of years, but the latest figures from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register showed coverage had slowly climbed from ninety three percent last year. The Government reintroduced free whooping cough vaccines for expectant mothers and parents of newborns, after the program was abolished by the previous Liberal government in two thousand twelve. The measures followed moves by the Federal Government to strip social security payments from parents who do not immunise their children. But at the beginning of this year, about seven percent of Victorian children under the age of six had not being vaccinated, leaving holes in the state’s herd immunity. In response, the Victorian Government ramped up efforts to improve rates across the state, spending seven hundred fifty thousand dollars on a new advertising campaign to encourage vaccination.
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Australia’s national immunisation coverage sits at ninety four percent.

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/poor-health-literacy-failing-many-report/news-story/6cbf71e4d0bdf1a580085343f8a03dd7

A University of Canberra report has found that around seven million Australian adults are failing to manage their health through diet and exercise. The research, commissioned by Bayer, suggests many Australians don’t have the knowledge to manage their health concerns, with only six-out- of-ten people scoring highly on a health-literacy test. A lack of physical activity and poor nutrition have both been linked to an increase in the soaring rates of chronic illness, including diabetes. To investigate how Australians seek advice on health management, researchers analysed online-search behaviours in self-care across food and nutrition. They also evaluated attitudes and issues raised in online forums. The final phase of the research involved a survey of one thousand adults. According to the report, interest in nutrition and health information has increased, with searches for fruit, vegetables and nutrition growing steadily.

However many Australians still have poor health literacy, says study author Michael Jensen, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra. Professor Jensen says there’s a need to improve health literacy and self-care in disadvantaged communities, such as indigenous, regional, and rural Australians. He added:
“The biggest concern for Australians living in rural and remote areas is access to healthcare services. There is a real need and opportunity for improved online resources for these communities, to better allow them to manage their nutrition and health needs and connect them to healthcare services.”

Federal Assistant Minister for Health, David Gillespie, who will launch the report in Canberra on Monday, is encouraging all Australians to focus on better nutrition and health management.
He said: “The cost of healthcare in Australia has increased more than three-fold in the last fifteen years. This is a major concern for the Australian Government and public.”

http://www.smh.com.au/national/cutting-sugar-in-soft-drinks-would-save-155000-lives-and-8-billion-experts-20171012-gyzopg.html

A new study has revealed at least one hundred fifty five thousand premature deaths in Australia could be prevented if the energy content of sugary drinks was slashed by a third.  New modelling shows a thirty percent reduction in kilojoules in all sugar-sweetened drinks would not only reverse Australia’s obesity crisis, but drastically reduce the number of people succumbing to obesity-related diseases such as stroke, type two diabetes and kidney cancer.
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Sugary drinks have been targeted by health campaigners in the battle against the bulge because they are energy dense and nutrient poor, filling consumers up with calories but leaving them feeling hungry. Empty calories can lead to weight gain. Obesity is a leading risk factor for a host of diseases. The study, published in the latest Nutrients journal, found “reformulation” would prevent seventy thousand three hundred deaths from heart disease, forty seven thousand deaths from type two diabetes, fourteen thousand three hundred deaths from stroke, and twenty four thousand one hundred  deaths from breast, bowel cancer, endometrial and kidney cancers, over the lifetime of the  two thousand ten Australian population. The researchers looked at sugar-sweetened soft drinks, flavoured waters, iced teas, sports drinks and cordials, but excluded fruit drinks and juices from their calculations. Two-thirds of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Michelle Crino from the George Institute for Global Health says the new study demonstrates the harm sugary drinks are causing.

The intervention calls come amid a renewed push for a tax on sugary drinks – as has occurred in Ireland last week – but the federal government remains firmly opposed to it. The Australian Beverages Council said the public should be “deeply sceptical” of the “policy-driven” study, which it claims ignores its efforts to reduce sugar. It’s fighting the tax. A new survey has found ninety two percent of Australians believe obesity is a serious public health problem and nearly ninety per cent support government intervention.

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