An innovative video teaching families how to make healthy choices at the supermarket, and a healthy weight calculator for children, are just two of the practical tools offered by a new website, Healthy Kids for Professionals, launched today in the battle against childhood obesity.
The back-to-basics approach follows the release of new data indicating that parents have limited awareness of overweight and obesity in their children.
Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said more than one in five school-aged children is above a healthy weight and obesity remains unacceptably high.
“We have to find new and clear ways of reaching the families of these children to improve their understanding of healthy weight ranges and healthy habits.”
The new supermarket tour video, developed in collaboration with the Australian Medical Association (NSW), takes viewers on a guided tour of a supermarket with a dietician, to help show how to make healthy food choices.
AMA (NSW) Vice-President Dr Kean-Seng Lim said the video has been designed for health professionals to help patients make diet and lifestyle changes.
“The choices made when buying food have the potential to impact on the whole household,” Dr Lim said. “It’s especially important in the case of young people, as the habits a child learns will continue into adulthood.”
The video features on the new NSW Health website, Healthy Kids for Professionals, along with a healthy weight calculator for children, so parents can easily find out whether their child is a healthy weight .
“It’s not always easy to tell if your child is a healthy weight for their age and this was identified as an important issue in the latest NSW School Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS) report,” Dr Chant said.
“The survey found almost three quarters of parents of primary school children who were in the overweight category, and one third of parents of obese children perceived their child to be ‘about the right weight’. This is critical as more than 80 per cent of obese children go on to become obese adults.”