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Swap it, Don't stop it!
A new approach for a healthier Australia
The Measure Up campaign has worked to raise Australians’ awareness of the link between an increased waistline and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.  
Research shows that the campaign, with its waist measurement message, has achieved high recognition – many Australians now understand why waist circumference is important
The challenge now is to show them how they can do something about it.
What is the Swap It, Don't Stop It Campaign?
The Swap It, Don’t Stop It campaign builds on the awareness created by the first phase of the Measure Up campaign and will work to show people how they can make small lifestyle changes to improve their health and reduce their waistline.
It aims to continue to build consumers’ self-efficacy by conveying personally relevant, simple steps that they can take to improve their health and well being.
Rather than being prescriptive and restrictive, the campaign encourages Australians to ‘start thinking like a swapper’. It provides a framework for change which enables Australians to identify all the swaps they can make in everyday life to increase movement, improve nutrition and start to lose centimetres from around their waist.
The campaign was developed through an extensive qualitative research program and will be evaluated against its objectives via a nationally representative telephone survey of Australians aged 18 to 65. The evaluation of campaign Phase One is available at www.measureup.gov.au
- Healthy eating and getting active can help you lose centimetres and prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease.
- The ac cumulation of small everyday changes can help to get you on your way to a healthier lifestyle; without losing all the things you love.
- You don’t have to stop it, just swap it
Supporting these messages is a suite of simple, achievable swaps to inspire Australians to take action. For example:Swap Big for Small
- Don’t overcrowd your plate
- Think twice before going back for seconds
- Eat slowly to give your stomach time to signal it’s full
- Share a desser
- Swap fried food for fresh
- Swap fizzy drink for wate
- Swap take away for home made
- Eat less ‘sometimes’ foods
- Walk and deliver a message rather than email
- Swap the lift or escalator for the stair
- Swap the car for the bike
- Get off the bus one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way
- Meet friends for a walk, instead of coffee and cak
- Don’t just watch sport — get out and get active
- Get outdoors with the family
- Swap a family movie for bowling
- Swap an ad-break snack for an ad-break wander
Campaign Target Audience
While the campaign’s messages are relevant to all Australians, the primary audiences are:
- Men and women aged between 25-50 years who have children.
- All men and women aged between 45-65 years.
Ready reference — Facts for General Practice
Waist Circumference as an Indicator of Chronic Disease Risk – the Evidence at a Glance
- The National Health and Medical Research Council’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults state that waist measurement is a valid measure of abdominal fat which is related to an increased risk of several chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
- Epidemiological studies have found that fat-distribution measures, such as waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio, are better predictors of mortality than BMI as BMI does not distinguish fat mass from lean mass
Interpreting Waist Measurements
|Future disease risk level||Men (caucasian)**||Women (caucasian and asian)|
|Increased Risk||> 94cm||> 80cm|
|Substantially Increased Risk||> 102cm||> 88cm|
|High Risk||> 110cm||> 100cm|
Related MBS Items
|45 year old Health Check||Once only|
|Type 2 Diabetes Risk Evaluation Adult Health Check
(* Cannot have claimed item 717 within the 3 year period)
|Once per 3 years*|
|Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Health Checks (15 yrs and older)||Once per 9 months|
|Health Assessment for Refugee and other Humanitarian Entrants||Within 12 months of entrance or residency|
The Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Medicare items may also apply to your patients. These items are for GPs to plan and coordinate the healthcare of patients with chronic or terminal medical conditions, including such patients who have complex care needs and require multidisciplinary, team-based care from a GP and at least two other health or care providers. For information go to: health.gov.au/mbsprimarycareitems
Support resources for your practice
You can order resources for your practice from www.australia.gov.au/swapit including:
- Posters to hang in your practice
- Copies of the brochure: How to lose your belly without losing out
- An aluminium cased tape measure for you to use to measure patients
- Paper tape measures for patients to use at home
- Support fact sheets
- Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults – NHMRC
- Overweight and Obesity in Adults and in Children and Adolescents — A Guide for General Practice – NHMRC health.gov.au/…/adults_gp.pdf
- The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating health.gov.au/…/fd-cons.pdf
- Food for Health – Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults www.nhmrc.gov.au/…/n33.pdf
- AUSDRISK Australian type 2 diabetes risk assessment tool: visit health.gov.au/preventionoftype2diabetes
- Prevention of type 2 diabetes – lifestyle modification program: visit health.gov.au/preventionoftype2diabetes
- Lifescripts: visit health.gov.au/lifescripts
Refer patients to the Swap It website: www.australia.gov.au/swapit for:
- A 12 week Swap It, Don’t Stop It planner to kick start healthy habits
- Swap it Don’t Stop it iPhone app available free to download from itune
- A copy of the brochure: How to lose your belly without losing out
- A downloadable tape measure
1 National Health and Medical Research Council. Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, 2003
Swap It, Don’t Stop It
All information in this publication is correct as at March 2011