Category Archives: Latest News

Healthy food vendors a success

The Dardanup Bull & Barrel Festival sponsored by Healthway, promoting the LiveLighter message was held on the sixth October and attracted approximately 15,000 people to the event.

Incorporating Healthway strategies, the LiveLighter Dardanup Bull & Barrel Festival promoted healthy food and drink options to families attending the event in the South-west. Creating environments at events that provide patrons with healthier options, contributes to the Healthway mandate of creating a healthier Western Australia.

As a key strategy of the Healthway partnership, Dardanup Bull and Barrel worked with the Western Australian School Canteen Association (WASCA) to provide a healthier festival environment with a focus on increasing the availability of healthy food and drink options for festival goers.

WASCA works in partnership with many Healthway sponsored organisations and their support was an important part of vendors being willing to provide healthy food choices at the festival.

A total of forty three vendors attended the event, offering a selection of cuisines. Each vendor was offered the opportunity to have their menu assessed and reviewed by WASCA, with those adopting the recommendations being included in the WA Healthy Vendor Guide which is distributed around the state. From the review, eight of these food vendors were classified as being healthier and were recruited from the WA Healthier Vendor Guide.

Vendors were provided signage at the LiveLighter Dardanup Bull and Barrel Festival to showcase their ‘healthy vendor endorsement’.

In addition to the full menu review, all vendors were asked to adopt the following strategies to limit the consumption of sugary drinks at the festival:

  • reducing the lines of sugary drinks by only offering two-three choices or twenty percent less
  • remove sugary drinks from display or don’t sell at all
  • move sugary drinks towards the bottom of the fridge or away from eye level
  • offer water at a cheaper price compared to all other drinks

The food vendors involved in adopting these strategies reported a 50% increase in the sale of water and a 45% decrease in the sale of sugary drinks.

Through various Healthway partnerships we have seen an increase in community expectations around the availability of healthy food and drink options. The LiveLighter Dardanup Bull and Barrel Festival is a great example of a Healthway partner organisation’s approach and commitment to improving the environment they provide and increasing public awareness of the LiveLighter message to the Western Australian community.

New Healthway and Lotterywest chair

Healthway and Lotterywest today welcome a new chair  Professor Peter Klinken AC, who will serve across both organisations following alignment of Lotterywest and Healthway Boards earlier this year.

Professor Klinken AC will assume his role this week for a three-year term – leading the Lotterywest and Healthway Board members.

Healthway acknowledges and thanks previous chair Professor Bryant Stokes AM for his outstanding leadership, professionalism and commitment to Healthway’s work over many years.

The announcement provides new opportunities for Healthway and Lotterywest to advance their work in building a better and healthier Western Australia.

You can read the full media statement from the Premier and Deputy Premier here.

Young Australian males most vulnerable to using e-cigarettes

Healthway-funded research recently published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia concluded that young Australian males were most vulnerable to using e-cigarettes, with the most common reason for their use among smokers and non-smokers of traditional cigarettes being enjoyment.

The online survey of 1,116 Australians aged 18 to 25 years found that young males are particularly vulnerable to both trialing electronic nicotine delivery systems and becoming regular e-cigarette users.  Just over 10 per cent of young adult e-cigarette users reported using the devices to quit smoking.

Lead author Dr Michelle Jongenelis, from the School of Psychology at Curtin University said the popularity of e-cigarettes had grown rapidly around the world,  and the growing range of electronic devices capable of delivering nicotine available on the market represented new challenges for the public health community.

The research was co-authored by researchers from the School of Psychology at Curtin University, Cancer Council Western Australia, and The University of Western Australia.

The research paper titled: ‘Differences in use of electronic nicotine delivery systems by smoking status and demographic characteristics among Australian young adults,’ can be found online here.

Working towards a smoke-free Western Australia

Western Australia now has some of the toughest tobacco laws in the country after State Parliament recently passed amendments to The Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill 2017.

Under the new laws, Western Australia will become the fist State in Australia to make it illegal for employees under the age of 18 to sell tobacco products in retail outlets.

Healthway is committed to helping West Australians become smoke-free, and will continue to work in partnership with local organisations to fund health promotion programs and campaigns in the community, as well as health promotion research to reduce smoking rates.

The full media statement State Parliament passes tough new tobacco laws to fight smoking can be viewed online here. 

WA footy fans tackling obesity

More than 100 overweight male AFL fans have committed to getting fit as part of a new WA-first project run by qualified coaches using their favourite WA team’s training facilities.

The Aussie-FIT project, funded by Healthway, is being run in partnership with the Fremantle Football Club, Curtin University, West Coast Eagles Football Club, Edith Cowan University, Glasgow University and The University of Newcastle.

The program involves a 90-minute fitness and educational session once a week, either at a club training facility, or at associated club facilities in Cockburn and Leederville.

The project aims to help the fans reduce their weight and waistline, increase their knowledge of healthy eating and different types of physical activity and learn how to sustain their new lifestyle.

The unique footy club experience builds on the highly successful Football Fans in Training program (FFIT), which now operates in more than 30 premier league soccer clubs in Scotland. The program was further developed and rolled out across Europe, as well as for other sports in other countries, such as rugby in New Zealand and ice hockey in Canada.

To find out more about this project or register your interest in taking part in future programs visit here: http://www.aussiefit.org/.

To calculate your BMI, visit here: https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator.

New study: Daily use of e-cigarettes doubles the risk of heart attack

The Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) issued a media statement today highlighting a new American study, which found that daily use of e-cigarettes doubles the risk of heart attack.

This study, published on 22 August 2018 in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, adds to the growing evidence that e-cigarettes are harmful to health.

In the last financial year (2017/18), Healthway invested in research to better understand e-cigarette initiation, maintenance and cessation in Western Australian adults, and provide evidence to inform policy in this area.

Read the full ACOSH media statement online.

ACOSH is supported by Healthway, and are an independent coalition, working with the community, organisations and governments in the fight against tobacco.  

History made with first ever Fever grand final!

The West Coast Fever will host their first ever Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final this Sunday August 26, at RAC Perth Arena.

Healthway has supported the West Coast Fever since the team’s inception in 2009 and is proud to be part of their success both on and off the court.

The partnership with the West Coast Fever promotes positive health messages and create strong female role models within the community. As ambassadors, the players promote the Alcohol.Think Again message, delivering activities that reach children, young people and their families with the aim to encourage conversations around reducing harm from alcohol.

Health messages and education play a vital role in shaping community awareness, attitudes and behaviours that help to create a healthier Western Australia.

Get behind the West Coast Fever as they prepare for their biggest day in the state’s netball history. Tickets are now on sale!

Little Athletics WA launches its inaugural North West Championships

Little Athletics WA, in partnership with Healthway, is increasing the opportunities for young people in the north west of Western Australia to participate in the sport.

The North West Championships event will see young people from Karratha, Broome, Port Hedland, Ashburton and Newman take part. In addition to this, participants from Exmouth and Kununurra who have recently launched 10-week Little Athletics Come and Try programs will have the opportunity to join in.

The three-day event from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 August will see Little Athletics WA delivering free community coaching courses to parents and volunteers, a multi event community activity for none registered athletes and the two-day championship event.

It is expected to engage over 200 young people and promote the healthy eating message Go for 2&5. Find out more.

Common board members for Healthway and Lotterywest

Premier Mark McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook today announced a further aligning of Healthway and Lotterywest.

  • Lotterywest and Healthway to share common board members
  • Amalgamation to build on synergies and deliver benefits to the community
  • Incoming board members to provide expert stewardship across both organisations
  • Outgoing board members thanked by the Minister

The Healthway Board will be advised by a panel of experts in public health to ensure the work of Healthway aligns with contemporary health promotion policies. The Health Promotion Advisory Group will be led Professor Mike Daube.

The full media statement is available to read online.

Tackling childhood obesity one superhero at a time

Gymnastics WA’s Gymsquad and Foodbank WA’s Superhero Foods characters have joined forces to launch a new educational initiative to make everyday foods like fruit and vegetables the superheroes in children’s diets.

Healthway Chief Executive Officer Susan Hunt PSM said the innovative project supported by Healthway sees Gymnastics WA and Foodbank WA working together to teach children the benefits of healthy lifestyles and provides fun resources and recipes to encourage and engage children and their families in healthy eating.

“While 44% of children aged 5-15 years reach the recommended levels of physical activity, only 5.3% of Western Australian children are meeting the recommended daily serve of fruit and vegetables,” Ms Hunt said.

“Childhood obesity continues to be a major public health issue, so these sorts of projects are vital.”

Overweight and obese children are also more likely to become obese adults and develop chronic conditions at younger ages, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Currently, the State Government, through Healthway, provides Gymnastics WA $260,000 over two years to promote the Go for 2&5 healthy eating message throughout its clubs. During 2016 and 2017, Healthway provided Foodbank more than $200,000 to deliver a range of educational resources.

Gymnastics WA Executive Director Ruth Gibbons said it was important for the club to work with Healthway and Foodbank WA to take a more holistic and proactive approach towards health by also making a difference to the eating habits of our children.

“I look forward to children making fruit and vegetables the supehero part of their diet,” Ms Gibbons said.

Foodbank WA Chief Executive Officer Greg Hebble said eating more fruit and vegetables is one of the most important dietary changes needed to improve health and reduce the risk of disease in children

“The recipe cards creatively engage children in increasing knowledge, attitude and skills towards healthy food and cooking,” Mr Hebble said.

To view the recipe cards visit  www.gymsquad.asn.au and for further Superhero Foods recipes and resources visit www.superherofoodshq.org.au.