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Physical activity is ranked second only to tobacco control in being the most important factor in health promotion and disease prevention in Australia.

VicHealth news archive

Highlighted articles and broadcasts featuring VicHealth spokespeople



24 January - Australia Day Drinking Problem ABC Radio National The World Today, by Simon Lauder. Listen to an extended interview on ABC Radio National's News of the World program by journalist Simon Lauder, who spoke with VicHealth's Brian Vandenberg about alcohol problems on public holidays. This report also includes interviews with Belinda Lloyd, author of a VicHealth-funded study, Drinking Cultures and Social Occasions. The report found violence, illness and accidents related to alcohol sky-rocket on summer public holidays.

17 January - Alcohol binge sessions contribute to beer gut,, Karen Collier and Wes Hosking. Does drinking alcohol pack on the pounds? Yes, according to VicHealth's nutrition manager Julie Woods. In this interview, she explains why weight-conscious indivdiuals need to be aware that high-kilojoule booze could be undoing thier hard work in the gym. 


15 December - No beer in heaven, but plenty in Mildura, ABC Mildura, Charlotte King. Listen to this interesting 20-minute radio piece from ABC Mildura, where one intrepid reporter went door to door at 11 bottleshops to find out whether they thought the community has a drinking problem. The report was on the back of VicHealth and Turning Point research that showed people living in low-socioeconomic areas in regional Victoria were exposed to six times as many bottle shops as their wealthier counterparts.

9 November - Hip hip hooray, The Age, Kathy Evans. A VicHealth hip-hop academy at Footscray is bridging cultural barriers to engage children. Read this heartwarming article in The Age. Kathy Evans writes: 'Music has always gone where politics has feared to tread. More than just entertainment, it can break down prejudices and melt tensions in a way that plain rhetoric never could.' This article features interviews with Fear of a Brown Planet comedians Nazeem Hussain and Aamer Rahman.

24 September - Major investigation into 'marshmallow generation' launched, Herald Sun, Marianne Betts. Fears that our children are becoming too soft and cloistered has prompted a major investigation. The impact of over-protective parenting will be the focus of the VicHealth study, amid psychologists' concerns of a "marshmallow generation", the Herald Sun reported. The three-year study will examine the impact of parental fear on reducing children's independence and physical activity levels.

4 June - VicHealth's acting CEO Associate Professor John Fitzgerald talked to Sabra Lane on ABC AM radio about the need for a more sensible alcohol taxation system to ensure cask wine isn't sold cheaper than soft drink.

13 May - High tech school 'The Lab' opens in Footscray for Asperger's syndrome children ABC Melbourne 774's Richelle Hunt interviews Victoria University researchers about a newly opened 'drop in centre' for young people aged 10 to 16 with Asperger's Syndrome. The centre, which gives the young people access to high tech computers, is designed to help them make friends and improve social skills. It was inspired by VicHealth-funded research by Victoria University that found children with Asperger's benefit from using new technology.

5 April - Victoria's food security, now to 2060 Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab Director Professor Chris Ryan talks to Lindy Burns on 774 ABC Melbourne Drive about a VicHealth-funded study which used computer modelling to create a 'what if' snapshot of Victoria's future fresh food supply. Listen to the 34 minute interview online.

5 April - VicHealth launched a major piece of research into the security of Victoria and Australia's supply of fresh, nutritious food in the future. The report resulted in 135 news items. Read The Age story and a transcript with one of the authors on ABC Radio's World Today here.

24 March - Following reports in The Age about an alleged plan by a supermarket giant to slash the price of beer to below cost, VicHealth spokesperson Associate Professor John Fitzgerald responded with an opinion piece published in online health blog, Croakey, about the responsibliity the alcohol industry must have for the harm it causes.

22 March - Plans to cut the price of beer have incited public health agencies. Read the report, quoting VicHealth spokesperson A/Prof John Fitzgerald, in the Sydney Morning Herald.

10 March - Super-sized support for fast food changes A VicHealth and Public Health Association of Australia poll of 3000 people has found 83% of respondents support kilojoule information on fast food menu boards, while 67% said this was likely or very likely to guide their food buying choices. Just over half (51%) of the respondents supported a total ban on the advertising of unhealthy food on TV - more than double the 20% who were opposed or strongly opposed.

10 February - Aussies want more farmers markets: poll The Australian. A public opinion poll about food by VicHealth has revealed strong public support for green initiatives, such as farmers markets and country-of-origin labels on fresh produce. Participants in the poll showed strong support for banning TV ads for junk food directed at children.


20 December - Garden state at risk as population flourishes, The Age. Todd Harper discusses the effects of urban sprawl and poor town planning on human health.

10 December – Drinkers exploited by low carb beer myth, survey shows, AAP on (article and video report). VicHealth research shows three-quarters of low carb beer drinkers choose this variety in the mistaken belief it is healthier than regular beer.

4 December - Fast food chains luring our kids, Herald Sun. Health agencies are appalled at online marketing that appeals directly to children.

14 October - As part of a week-long series, ABC 702 Sydney radio's Deborah Cameron interviewed Todd Harper about the damaging effects of a decade of alcohol deregulation in Victoria. Listen here.  See the full range of interviews with alcohol policy makers, alcohol industry representatives and public health experts here.

9 October - Parents fears stop kids walking to school, The Age. VicHealth research has found 63 per cent of people think parents should not let primary school aged children move around their neighbourhoods unsupervised.

6 October - Job stress costs $730 million a year, The Australian. A University of Melbourne and VicHealth study has found bosses foot the bill for employees with depression caused by poor working conditions.

12 September - Outrage over big tobacco plan, The Age.  Todd Harper features in this article about public health agencies fighting back against a campaign to prevent plain packaging of cigarettes.

3 September - Radio feature on domestic violence featuring VicHealth’s preventing violence against women manager Dr Melanie Heenan , by Santilla Chingaipe, reporting for SBS World View Ethnic Radio. Listen here.

25 June - Fresh start for good eating thanks to van with a plan, The Age. A five-year VicHealth initiative with local councils in Victoria produced interesting ways to solve local food shortages.

21 May - Jason Akermanis's 'wrong message' causes hurt and anger for gays, Herald Sun.  A controversial column by a prominent sportsman put the spotlight on issues with homophobia in sports. VicHealth research shows many gay and lesbian sportspeople experience problems in team sports because of their sexuality.

4 May - Get booze out of sport, says the majority of Victorians, Herald Sun.  Todd Harper discusses a VicHealth survey that reveals four out of five people want alcohol sponsorship removed from sports.

29 April - Call for cancer warning on alcohol products, The Age.  VicHealth CEO Todd Harper talks about how detailed health advisory labels on alcohol can help people make healthier choices.

23 April - Energy drink swoop, Herald Sun. VicHealth’s Brian Vandenberg explains why energy drinks and booze are a dangerous mix.