The Role of Australian Local Governments in Creating a Healthy Food Environment: An Analysis of Policy Documents from Six Sydney Local Governments

B. Reeve, A.M. Thow, P. Baker, J. Hersc, S.May, "The role of Australian Local Governments in Creating a Healthy Food Environment: An Analysis of Policy Documents from Six Sydney Local Governments", Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2020

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 20/14

9 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2020

See all articles by Belinda Reeve

Belinda Reeve

The University of Sydney Law School

Anne Marie Thow

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Phillip Baker

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Jessica Hresc

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Serena May

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 12, 2020

Abstract

Objective: This paper examines policies from six local governments (LGs) relevant to promoting a healthy food supply and consumer food environment.

Methods: We analysed the six LGs’ food and nutrition policies against a framework based on Australian literature and international policy frameworks. Policy content was collected by searching LG websites and analysed with reference to recommended policy actions in the framework.

Results: All LGs took action on reducing food waste, providing food/meal services for disadvantaged groups, and providing information/education on food and nutrition. A sub‐set also supported urban/local food production and markets selling fresh, healthy food. Our search did not identify any indication of a comprehensive policy framework to guide action on food and nutrition, nor did we find policies restricting opening of unhealthy food outlets, encouraging the opening of healthy food outlets, or reducing unhealthy food marketing.

Conclusions: Local governments in Australia are implementing policies to support improved nutrition. However, there are further opportunities for action, including discouraging unhealthy food outlets and restricting unhealthy food marketing.

Implications for public health: The legal remit of LGs includes responsibilities relevant to food and nutrition. Further research is needed regarding how their powers could be better leveraged to improve diet‐related health.

Keywords: local government, nutrition, food environment, policy, law

JEL Classification: I18, K10, K19, K30, Q18

Suggested Citation

Reeve, Belinda and Thow, Anne Marie and Baker, Phillip and Hresc, Jessica and May, Serena, The Role of Australian Local Governments in Creating a Healthy Food Environment: An Analysis of Policy Documents from Six Sydney Local Governments (March 12, 2020). B. Reeve, A.M. Thow, P. Baker, J. Hersc, S.May, "The role of Australian Local Governments in Creating a Healthy Food Environment: An Analysis of Policy Documents from Six Sydney Local Governments", Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2020, Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 20/14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3551812

Belinda Reeve (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Anne Marie Thow

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Phillip Baker

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Jessica Hresc

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Serena May

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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