About Food Policy Index Australia
The Food Policy Index was developed for Australia to assess food- and diet-related government policies that are currently in place, and to identify areas for improvement. This was based on the Healthy Food Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) that was developed by INFORMAS, an international network of experts in food policy. The Food-EPI has been applied in several countries globally, including New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa and Malaysia. The approach for implementing the Food-EPI has been previously published by INFORMAS, available here.
The Food-EPI covers up to 50 key policy areas, including specific aspects of food environments (such as food composition, labelling, promotion, prices and provision) that have been shown to have an important impact on population diets and obesity, as well as infrastructure support (including leadership, governance, monitoring and funding) that helps facilitate effective policy implementation. The process involves the project team working closely with government officials to document current policy actions in each jurisdiction, across each policy area.
In Australia, the first Food Policy Index assessment was launched in 2017. The process involved over 100 experts (including academics, nutritionists, and senior representatives from health NGOs and community groups) from 53 organisations, who assessed the extent of implementation in each policy area, for each level of government. They identified policy recommendations for each jurisdiction, and prioritised them based on their perceived importance and achievability.
The 2019 Progress Update provides a follow-up to the 2017 Food Policy Index assessment. It summarised and assessed the actions taken by Australian governments (July 2016 - December 2018) in relation to the recommended policies identified in the 2017 report.
The 2022 Food Policy Index assessed policy actions from June 2016 - June 2021. The assessment process involved 84 experts from 37 organisations. Results for the Federal Government were launched in October 2022 as part of the International Congress on Obesity. Results for each State/Territory were released progressively in 2022 and early 2023.
The Food Policy Index Australia initiative is led by Professor Gary Sacks at the Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition Research (GLOBE) in the Institute for Health Transformation at Deakin University. The project is supported by the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, and is conducted in partnership with the Food for Health Alliance.
For any enquiries, contact Gary Sacks:
p: +61 (0) 3 9251 7105