A world first campaign to tackle obesity


As a nation, we're the heaviest we've ever been.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that more than 4,300,000 Australians, roughly one in four, are obese. In Western Australia, two thirds of us (66.3%) are an unhealthy weight.

Last year, the State Government contracted the Heart Foundation, in partnership with the Cancer Council of WA to conduct a new public education campaign to encourage people to eat well, be physically active and maintain a healthy weight. The result – LiveLighter.

From June 24, the LiveLighter campaign will take people inside their own bodies and introduce them to the toxic build-up within – visceral fat.

"Overweight and obesity is now one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in our community," said Maurice Swanson, CEO of the Heart Foundation (WA Division).

"In what we believe to be a world first, this public education campaign will graphically portray the effects of being an unhealthy weight. LiveLighter will encourage and support Western Australians to make positive lifestyle changes and maintain healthy behaviours".

Respected cardiologist and President of the Heart Foundation (WA Division) Dr John O'Shea added: "The time to act is now. Being overweight dramatically increases a person's risk of developing serious conditions, including cardiovascular disease".

The campaign will initially reach the community through advertising on commercial television, radio, cinema, newspapers, magazines and online. It will be supported by a comprehensive, easy-to-use website. Tailored resources are available for health professionals and those holding community events.

LiveLighter is funded until June 2014.

For more information, please contact:
LiveLighter Media and Communications Manager
T: (08) 9382 5913
E: media@livelighter.com.au


LiveLighter Facts

  • The total investment by the State Government, through the Department of Health, is $9.1million over 3 years. This includes staffing, concept development, ongoing advocacy, specific brand resources for health professionals / community engagement, the LiveLighter website as well as the comprehensive advertising campaign.
  • LiveLighter is an "umbrella campaign" incorporating, and building on, the messages of the successful Find Thirty®, Draw the Line® and Go for 2&5® campaigns. Those programs are no longer active.
  • Of the OECD countries, Australia is ranked 5th for highest percentage of obese adults. (OECD, Obesity Update 2012)
  • Western Australia has the highest proportion of overweight and obese people of all the States and Territories. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, Overweight and Obesity in Adults in Australia: A Snapshot, 2007–08)
  • 66.3% of Western Australians are overweight or obese. (WA Department of Health, Health and Wellbeing of Adults in Western Australia 2010, Overview and Trends)
  • Obesity (the burden of disease) costs the nation $58.2 billion each year. That doesn't include the costs borne by individuals. (Access Economics, Growing Cost of Obesity in 2008)
  • Over the last 20 years, the weight of the average Australian has increased by 7.5kg (for women) and 8.7kg (for men)
  • Between 1995 and 2007-08, the proportion of obese adult men jumped from 18.6% to 25.5% – bringing the total proportion of unhealthy weight adult men to 67.7%. For adult women, the proportion jumped from 18.9% to 23.6%, bringing the total proportion of unhealthy weight adult women to 54.6%. (Australia's Health 2012, Australian Institute of Health & Welfare)