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Title: Prioritizing population oral health through public policy in Australia: the Victorian experience.
Author: Nguyen, T.
Lin, C.
Raichur, A.
Patterson, A.
Hall, M.
Aldrich, Rosemary
Robinson, S.
Issue Date: 2023
Publication Title: Health Promotion International
Volume: 38
Issue: 4
Start Page: 1
End Page: 10
Abstract: Dental caries, a non-communicable disease, is one of the most prevalent diseases globally and share common modifiable risk factors with obesity such as excess sugar intake. However, prioritization by governments to improve population oral health has been limited and is typically excluded from the discourse of public health policy development. Therefore, interventions that target dental caries can have other co-benefits including obesity prevention. In Victoria, Australia, local government authorities have a regulatory requirement to develop their Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plans. The aim of this paper is to identify whether prioritization for oral health by local government authorities in Victoria has changed through the subsequent renewal of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plans 2011-2015 and 2019-2023. Three desktop audits for all publicly available Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plans by local government authorities in Victoria were conducted between 2014 and 2022. Key terms related to oral health was searched within these policy documents and categorized into six indicators: (i) included oral health as a priority, (ii) linked healthy eating and oral health, (iii) supported the Achievement Program, (iv) included the Smiles 4 Miles program, (v) advocated for fluoridated drinking water, and (vi) included other strategies related to oral health. Overall, there was statistically significant reduction in five of the six indicators, with the exception for prioritization of other strategies related to oral health such as targeting excess sugar intake and smoking. A multi-sectoral approach, that includes oral health would be advantageous to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases.
Internal ID Number: 02319
Health Subject: HEALTH POLICY
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Research Output

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