OPAL (Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle) is a program that supports children, through their families and communities, to be healthy now, and stay healthy for life. Established in South Australia in 2009, OPAL is coordinated through local government and works with communities to create opportunities to eat well and be active. OPAL has been rolled out across South Australian in four stages and has been active in 20 local communities across the State and one additional community in the Northern Territory.
Some of the major achievements of the OPAL sites have been made available in the case studies.
OPAL is funded through state and local government and this will continue until June 2017. Councils and State Government have seen first-hand the healthy changes the program has been making in local communities and have been heartened by the incredibly positive feedback from schools, families and business who have been involved in the program. As a result of the OPAL program many councils are continuing their commitment to health and wellbeing through the continuity of OPAL or similar healthy lifestyle programs.
Many councils that have not had OPAL are interested to learn about how OPAL works across communities to improve health and wellbeing. These councils have joined the OPAL network.
OPAL is currently active in five South Australian communities and one community in the Northern Territory. The following councils/cities are part of the OPAL community:
Contact your local OPAL Council Manager to see if you live within the OPAL community in your council.
Why is OPAL valuable?
Wouldn’t it be great to...
- give your children the best chance to be healthy
- live in a community where there are lots of ways to enjoy being active
- discover safe scenic paths to cycle or walk to work and school
- develop skills for preparing delicious meals that are good for you and your family
- understand food labels so you can plan healthy meals for your family
- feel healthier and have more energy to do the things you enjoy?
Children and adults who are active and enjoy healthy eating are more likely to live a healthy life. That means you and your children may have:
- more energy
- more confidence
- better sleep
- better health – with less risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and some cancers
- stronger bones and healthier joints.
Being active and enjoying healthy eating are also great ways to relax and spend time with family and friends. As well as keeping you and your family healthy, these beneficial lifestyle choices can make our whole community a more rewarding place to live – where people have fewer long-term health problems.
OPAL is part of an expanding network of international, community-based obesity prevention programs and was based on the successful Epode program from France.
How can I get involved?
To find out if you live in an OPAL area, contact your local OPAL Council Manager and discover out how you can be involved.