by Peter Howat and Jan Ritchie
Issues addressed: Australia lacks a clear population policy. It is contended that rapid and excessive population growth has the potential to have substantial negative effects on the health of Australians. Health promotion professionals have not taken a highly visible role in the debate about the public health and social ramifications of population increase.
Discussion: Five significant themes related to population growth that are relevant to the Australian situation are enunciated. Discussion on these themes illustrates how each may in fact be construed as a myth perpetuated through inappropriate interpretation or lack of awareness of the issues.
Key words: Health promotion, sustainability, population control.
Health Promotion Journal of Australia 2004;15:103-8
It is argued that without attention to the macro issues of overpopulation and environmental degradation, our current efforts in health promotion could become irrelevant. Health promotion practitioners have an opportunity to take a more active role in this issue, which potentially threatens to overwhelm the positive outcomes of health promotion advances not only within Australia, but also throughout the world.