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33 Healthier Lifestyle Projects Nation-Wide in Australia

2011-06-17

New healthy eating and exercise programs, including getting your hands dirty in a community garden and learning to cycle safely are taking off around Australia to help combat obesity.

The Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, announced that 33 local governments around the country will receive funding to run programs that will encourage and support people to adopt and sustain healthier lifestyles.

Each local government will receive a grant of more than $700,000 as part of the Gillard Government's $72 million Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to support local governments to promote healthy lifestyles in the community.

"We want to keep Australians well and out of hospital, and programs like Healthy Communities provide practical support to people looking to make a healthy change," Minister Roxon said.

"Local governments are introducing innovative physical activity and healthy eating programs in their communities that have been proven to make a real difference."

"We know that preventive health measures work, that's why we are encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles and combat obesity."

The 33 projects will receive a total of $23 million under phase two of the Healthy Communities grants round. The grants are mostly in regional, rural and remote areas.

"Eighty per cent of the recommended local government areas have combined overweight and obesity rates above the national average and experience significant social and economic disadvantage so we are targeting this funding where it’s needed most." Ms Roxon said.

"These projects will focus on at-risk populations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, new wave migrants and those living with disabilities."

There will be 8 projects in New South Wales, 7 in Victoria and Queensland, 4 in Western Australia and South Australia, 2 in the Northern Territory and 1 in Tasmania.

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