You might have heard it on the radio or TV - childhood obesity is very quickly becoming one of the leading health concerns in NSW. Children who are above their healthy weight range are much more likely to be above their healthy weight range as adults.
Many of us know that being above our healthy weight range can impact on other areas of health:
- More risk of heart disease
- More likely to develop insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes
- More likely to develop some cancers
- Issues with mobility, arthritis and joints
One of the current NSW Health priorities is to reduce the rates of childhood overweight and obesity by 5% over 10 years. So what's out there to help this to happen?
1. Active Kids $100 Rebate - The NSW government is launching the Active Kids Rebate rebate in January 2018! This is a $100 voucher for every school aged child to support their enrolment in a community sports or fitness program. $100 per child, per year, for the next four years. For more information: https://sport.nsw.gov.au/sectordevelopment/activekids
2. Go4Fun - A fun 10 week group program, Go4Fun provides education to children and parents about healthy eating and exercise. To be eligible, children need to be 7-13 and be above their healthy weight range. For more information: https://go4fun.com.au/what#go-4-fun
3. Exercise Right for Kids Does your child have specific health conditions? This site has information and resources written by university trained exercise professionals about safe and effective exercise for kids. It is powered by Exercise Sport Science Australia's (ESSA), the accreditation body for Exercise Physiologists in Australia. See http://exerciseright.com.au/kids/
4. Healthy Kids for Professionals - This great website was launched just recently. It has lots of great resources for health professionals to identify when a child is above their healthy weight range and some basic advice that can be provided to families. Parents might find some of these resources helpful too! Go to: https://pro.healthykids.nsw.gov.au
- I particularly like the “8 for a healthy weight” resource which has been popping up around Children’s Hospital Westmead. This has been translated into Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese and Hindi. (see here)
- The other resource I like is the children’s growth chart which helps families to see where their child sits in comparison to their healthy weight range. Green = safe zone, Yellow = caution, Red = danger zone.
Parents and kids, keep an eye out for these initiatives and take advantage of them! They are provided for you and your family so that you can a happy and healthy lifestyle.