Articles on Public health

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Big Food in Australia is not the same as the industry in the United States, where much of the popular media has come from. Steven Caddy/Flickr

Big Food with a regional flavour: how Australia’s food lobby works

Criticism of the food industry has itself become a niche industry. But the tendency to embrace a US-centric conception of how the industry works risks masking local variants and inhibiting a targeted response…
Ideally lollies, biscuits, sugar-sweetened drinks, potato crisps and processed meats will never appear in your shopping trolley. Matt/Flickr

Health Check: five foods to always avoid at the supermarket

Want to stack the nutrition odds in your favour? The key is good food so here are five things to never let into your shopping trolley: lollies, biscuits, sugar-sweetened drinks, potato crisps and processed…
Bombardment of the Gaza Strip is having devastating effects. Mohammed Saber/EPA

The Israeli assault on Gaza: a public health perspective

It is three weeks since the current Israeli offensive against Gaza began on July 8. But it is now eight years since Israel began its blockade of Gaza. Since then unemployment has risen, public infrastructure…
The number of hospitalisations and deaths caused by alcohol in Australia has increased by 62% in a decade. VILevi/Shutterstock

Australia’s daily alcohol toll: 15 deaths and 430 hospitalisations

Chronic disease and injury caused by alcohol has significantly increased over a decade, causing 15 deaths and 430 hospitalisations…
Supermarkets like to portray themselves as healthy places to shop. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Don’t be fooled, supermarkets don’t have your health at heart

In their bids for greater market share, Australia’s two largest supermarket chains sometimes portray themselves as healthy places to shop. But Woolworths’ latest “Jamie’s Garden” sticker campaign might…
The health star rating system aims to provide convenient and easily understood nutritional information on food packs. eddie welker/Flickr

After three-year saga, health star rating labels finally ready to go

Assistant health minister Fiona Nash has announced that Australian and New Zealand ministers responsible for food policy and regulation have signed off on the health star rating system for front-of-pack…
Life expectancy continues to rise, and years lived with disability decline. Ozgur Coskun/Shutterstock

Australia’s Health 2014 report card: experts respond

Australians have one the longest life expectancies in the world but are living with growing levels of lifestyle-induced chronic illness, according to the latest national health report card. The Australian…
Equity isn’t just a nice idea, it’s also how we create a better society. Richard Potts/Flickr

Why the federal budget is bad for health and worse for society

Despite government claims that the budget would be fair and all Australians would contribute to the “budget rescue job”, reality has not supported these claims. And this is bad news for health and social…
The budget has introduced a $7 co-payment for visits to the general practitioners. Dave Hunt/AAP

Federal budget 2014: health experts react

The Abbott government has announced a A$20 billion medical research “future fund”, to help discover what Treasurer Joe Hockey calls the “cures of the future”, paid for with money generated as a result…
Our changing food environment has undermined our capacity to be responsible in the first place. Shutterstock

Fat nation: why so many Australians are obese and how to fix it

In 1980 just 10% of Australian adults were obese; by 2012 this figure had risen to 25%, among the highest in the world. The food industry lobby and their friends in government would have us believe this…
Earlier closing times for pubs and bars is the key to preventing alcohol-fuelled assaults. André Hofmeister/Flickr

Earlier pub closing times key to reducing alcohol-fuelled assaults

Earlier pub closing times have a large impact on curbing alcohol-fuelled violence, according to research my colleagues and I have published today in the international peer-reviewed journal Drug & Alcohol…
Today’s global HIV statistics reflect increasingly risky sexual practices. Shutterstock

To curb rising HIV rates, we must target our human flaws

One of the most perplexing risks to public health is human nature. No matter how diligently public health campaigns lay out the facts, we continue to make seemingly illogical decisions. Just look at the…
Pop up e-cig bar. Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

Explainer: what do we know about e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are increasingly popular in a number of countries including the UK, while in others such as Norway and Brazil they are banned altogether. So amid all these differences in policy, what do we…

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