- The federal government is facing fresh calls to introduce a sugar tax as part of a plan drawn up by a coalition of health and community groups which want urgent action to tackle Australia’s obesity problem.
- Health experts say there is still time for people to get the flu shot after the tragic death of Melbourne girl Rosie Anderson who died from influenza last week.
- Some locations in Melbourne were flagged as potentially infectious, health warnings are given out for those who may have been exposed to measles, a highly infectious illness.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 20th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
The federal government is facing fresh calls to introduce a sugar tax as part of a plan drawn up by a coalition of health and community groups which want urgent action to tackle Australia’s obesity problem. The eight-point plan includes a twenty percent tax on sugary drinks, restrictions on TV junk food ads, the establishment of a national obesity taskforce, and mandatory health star ratings for food packaging by mid two thousand nineteen.
The plan has been drawn up by a group of thirty four leading health and community groups led by the Obesity Policy Coalition and includes the Cancer Council, Heart Foundation, several universities and Nutrition Australia. Obesity Policy Coalition executive manager Jane Martin said while sixty three percent of Australian adults and twenty seven percent of children were either overweight or obese, there is still no national strategy addressing the issue.
The OPC estimates that the annual cost of overweight and obesity in Australia between two thousand eleven and two thousand twelve was about eight point six billion dollars in direct and indirect costs including GP services, hospital care, absenteeism and government subsidies.
Miss Martin said children were being bombarded with ads for junk food and high-sugar drinks that are cheaper than water. Many so called healthy foods were also being laden with sugar and saturated fat. She said that making a healthy choice has never been more difficult.
Health experts say there is still time for people to get the flu shot after the tragic death of Melbourne girl Rosie Anderson who died from influenza last week. Tributes are flowing for Rosie, eight years old, who was taken to Angliss Hospital in Upper Fern Tree Gully after falling unwell and died on Friday. Her father, Christian Brealey, told the Herald Sun he and the family were “devastated by the loss of (their) beautiful little angel.” He said in a statement: “Words cannot describe the depths of our grief. We want to thank our friends and family and the broader community for all the messages of love and compassion’’. A friend of Mister Brealey has since created a crowdfunding page, which has already raised more than two thousand dollars.
There have been ninety five reported deaths from influenza this year, but Australians are being told not to panic. The Australian reported that Rosie was a member of the local Scout troop, and was set to go on a camp at the end of the month. Premier Daniel Andrews extended his condolences to her family and said medical staff are working hard to tackle the particularly bad flu season. There have been more than thirteen thousand flu cases in Victoria over the past few months, including ninety five deaths, many of which were at aged care facilities. Hospitals have been forced to cancel elective surgeries and discharge patients in order to make room for flu-stricken people.
A baby boy is among three confirmed cases of measles in Victoria, sparking health warnings for those who may have been exposed to the highly infectious illness. The state’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Doctor Brett Sutton has warned Victorians to be alert to possible signs of illness as those infected frequented various Melbourne and Ballarat locations between September six and September thirteen. Doctor Sutton said they may have exposed others on the train between Armadale and Southern Cross station or at Collins Street, Chadstone Shopping Centre, Ikea Richmond and Federation University in Ballarat. The two people infected with measles may have also contracted the illness at the listed locations or at Saint Kilda Road in Armadale or Saint Kilda Library. At least one infection was contracted locally, while the other may have been acquired locally or overseas.
He warned new cases may not show symptoms of the highly infectious illness until October four.
A third separate case involves an adult male who returned from travelling in Romania where there has been a large measles outbreak. He is in a stable condition in hospital. The man returned to Australia on September twelve and became unwell on September thirteen — therefore was infectious on his flights home.