OPAL logo with colourful swirls

The Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle (OPAL) program was implemented in South Australia between 2009 and 2017. 

The OPAL program was informed by the French program, EPODE (translated as ‘together we can prevent childhood obesity’).

The aim of the program was to improve eating and physical activity patterns of South Australian children, through families and communities, and thereby increase the proportion of 0-18 year olds in the healthy weight range and improve their quality of life. The program was implemented across five years in each of 20 South Australian OPAL Communities (plus one in the Northern Territory) in partnership with local councils.

OPAL communities:

Phase 1  (2009-14)

Phase 2 (2010-15)

Phase 3 (2011-16)

Phase 4  (2012-17)

City of Marion

City of Whyalla

City of West Torrens

Alexandrina Council

City of Mt Gambier

District Council of the Copper Coast

City of Murray Bridge

The Coorong District Council

City of Onkaparinga

City of Charles Sturt

Mid Murray Council

City of Salisbury (North)

City of Playford

City of Port Adelaide Enfield

Northern Areas Council, Peterborough and Mount Remarkable (joint site)

City of Charles Sturt (Outer)

City of Port Augusta


City of Playford (South)

Campbelltown City Council

City of Salisbury


City of Palmerston - NT (COPAL)


The work of OPAL is now embedded in many of those sites with a range of activities continuing as they are linked to delivering their local  Regional Public Health Plans under the South Australian Public Health Act 2011.

Some of the major achievements of the OPAL sites have been made available in the case studies

OPAL goals

OPAL focused on six goals to bring about behavioural change across the community:

Eating well, which means:

  1. healthy food choices available at food outlets
  2. healthy meals produced in and from homes
  3. local healthy food production, access and distribution.

Being active, which includes

  1. active travel journeys
  2. active leisure participation choices
  3. use of parks, spaces and places.

There were also six OPAL themes.

OPAL evaluation

Flinders University OPAL Evaluation Project Report 2016

The Flinders University of South Australia (Flinders) OPAL Evaluation Project measured changes in healthy weight and health-related quality of life as well as changes in eating practices (including fruit, vegetable and discretionary food/drink consumption) and changes in home and school environments, sleep, physical activity and sedentary (screen-time) practices. The community capacity building component of the OPAL program also was evaluated. This evaluation compared OPAL sites in Phase 1 and 2 of the program with matched comparison communities in the same phase.  

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