Grappling with what Australians eat and how they use alcohol and other drugs will form part of a new federal government effort to prevent people from becoming unwell.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed plans to develop a new preventive health plan while speaking at a conference in Melbourne.
"Whether it's drugs and alcohol, whether it's the work in relation to diet, whether it's other elements, we are developing, with you, a long-term national preventive health strategy," he told the event on Wednesday.
The commitment comes as more than half of Australians are living with a chronic illness such as arthritis, cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease or diabetes
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare will on Thursday release its latest report on the causes and impacts of disease in the nation.
Mr Hunt says the report will set out the major health risk factors that can be addressed when it comes to alcohol, other drugs and tobacco.
"We also have to deal with obesity and poor diet which come together and contribute to issues in relation to blood pressure, in relation to our glucose levels," he said.
"All of these effect our quality of life, our longevity and increase the burden of disease."
The minister stressed that Australia is already a world leader in screening programs, particularly for cervical, bowel and breast cancer.
He also talked up the government's immunisation program and the extra money it has put towards children's dental.
"But of course we can do more," he added, urging public health experts to bring forward their ideas.
Public Health Association of Australian chief executive Terry Slevin says the strategy must focus on those with the most need and at the greatest disadvantage.
"If we get this right, future generations will benefit with a healthier and higher quality of life but also a reduced bill when it comes to the ever growing cost of health care," he said.