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Western Australian Health Promotion Strategic Framework 2007–2011

Government of Western Australian Department of Health Country Resources General Health Strategies and Plans Australia, Western Australia 2007 Policy document health promotion, non communicable disease, strategy

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One hundred years ago, the most common causes of death and disease in WA were infectious diseases. Men who were born in 1910 could look forward to an average life expectancy of 55 years, and for women it was closer to 60. Better sanitation and hygiene, safer working and living conditions, the discovery of antibiotics, and the development of vaccines against many of the killer diseases of the time, all lead to fewer children and adults dying from infectious diseases during the first half of last century, and a steady increase in life expectancy.

In 2007, life expectancy for most children born in Australia was about 79 years for males, and 84 years for females, among the longest in the world. But not all Australians were doing so well. There was (and remains) a significant disparity in life expectancy for Aboriginal people, which is
almost 12 years lower for men, and almost 10 years lower for women than for other Australians. Now we face a new disease epidemic. As life expectancy has increased, chronic diseases
have become the most important causes of ill-health in this state. Changes in the way we work, relax and eat mean that more of us spend much of our time being sedentary, and that the foods
and drinks we consume are more likely to be higher in kilojoules and poorer in nutrition. Nearly one third (30%) of the total amount of sickness, disability and deaths (including loss of quality of
life) experienced in WA in 2006 was due to preventable risk factors. Being overweight was the most important risk factor, followed by smoking and physical inactivity. Injury is an important
cause of disability and death for all age groups, and it is the leading cause of death for children in WA. Aboriginal people are at greater risk of chronic disease and injury than non-Aboriginal people.

Chronic disease and injury have a major and growing impact on WA’s health care
system. To help address this, WA Health developed its first comprehensive policy framework for the prevention of chronic disease and injury. The Western Australian Health Promotion Strategic
Framework 2007–2011 (HPSF) outlined the key directions for the promotion of healthier and safer lifestyles for the WA population. Its priority areas were:
1- Preventing smoking
2- Healthy eating
3- Physical activity
4- Healthy weight
5- Low risk alcohol use
6- Preventing injury

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