Childhood overweight & obesity prevention
Over the past twenty years, rates of overweight and obesity have risen greatly in many countries, including Australia. About 59% of men and 45% of women aged 16 and older in NSW are overweight or obese, while approximately one in four school aged children in NSW are overweight or obese. In the 10 year period from 1985 to 1995, the level of combined overweight/obesity in Australian children more than doubled, while the level of obesity tripled.
Being overweight or obese can lead to physical, social and psychological problems. As obesity develops over time and is difficult to treat, the prevention of unhealthy weight gain offers the most effective means of controlling obesity.
In SSWAHS, our priority is to focus on childhood (0-12 years) as this is a key time for the development of healthy eating and physical activity behaviours. Also, overweight or obese children are more likely to become overweight or obese adolescents and adults.
Our program of work is guided by the SSWAHS Overweight and Obesity Prevention and Management Plan 2008-2012 (PDF, 895KB) and uses the following settings to reach children, their parents and carers:
Our current healthy weight projects and strategies include: