How can food companies prevent obesity?

with Amber Petty and Associate Professor Gary Sacks

Unhealthy diets are creating a public health crisis in Australia, with our rising rates of obesity costing us billions of dollars in healthcare for preventable diseases. What role do our food companies play in this crisis and how seriously are they taking the problem?

Listen to "How can food companies prevent obesity?" on Spreaker.

Unhealthy diet contributes hugely to the burden of preventable disease in Australia, like heart disease – our number one killer – Type 2 diabetes and several cancers. Two thirds of Australians are considered overweight or obese, which puts them at higher risk of these diseases. If we can take steps to improve our diets and reduce obesity, we can improve our health.

But if we’re going to address the problem of obesity, Gary says, “we need a whole of society approach. We’re going to need governments to take some action, we’re going to need food companies to take some action, as well the community taking action.”

Join Amber and Gary as they discuss Gary’s research into how seriously our biggest food companies take the obesity epidemic and shine the spotlight on the role they could play in preventing obesity.

Associate Professor Gary Sacks was recently named a Victorian Young Tall Poppy 2020 and is a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow with the Institute’s Global Obesity Centre. His research focuses on policies for the prevention of obesity and related diseases. He co-founded INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity / non-communicable diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support) – a global network for monitoring food environments and leads the component of INFORMAS dedicated to monitoring the actions of food companies in relation to obesity prevention and population nutrition.




Show notes:

Gary writes quite frequently for ‘The Conversation’ and you can access his articles from his profile page:

To find out more about the Inside our Food Companies report, visit

Read more about Gary’s research:

Food companies could do better: report

Fast food companies ignoring nutrition fuels public health crisis: study

Supermarkets can do more in fight against obesity: study