Additional resources, programs and services are available to help health professionals provide support for patients who are overweight or obese.

Overweight and obesity in NSW

Increasing the proportion of people in NSW at a healthy weight will lead to substantial population health benefits and improved quality of life through the prevention of chronic disease.

In 2017, around 1 in 5 NSW children aged 5 to 16 years (21.4%) were above or well above a healthy weight (overweight or obese) and 1 in 2 NSW adults aged 16 years and over (53.5%) were above a healthy weight (60.3% of men and 46.6% of women).

Learn more about current evidence in the:

Resources for health professionals

  • Australian Dietary GuidelinesHealth professionals working with people to help them achieve a healthy weight can access the guidelines for advice about food types and quantities to support overall health.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator - use the calculator to assess whether adults are above or below a healthy weight
  • Children's Weight Status Calculator (2 to 18 years)
  • Healthy Kids for Professionals – a NSW Health program for health professionals working with children and families to help children reach a healthy weight. It provides professional resources necessary to understand the health and social impacts of children above a healthy weight and accurately assess a child's weight status to identify children above a healthy weight. The program can also help health professionals to sensitively discuss the issue of weight with parents or carers, provide children and families with resources and practical support to make positive lifestyle changes, and refer children and families to specialist services and programs in their area.
  • Australian 24-hour movement guidelines for children and young people (5-17 years) These guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep support the healthy development of all children and young people.

Free programs for adults and children

Adults and families can be referred to one of the free programs offered by the NSW government to support them to live a healthier lifestyle. These include:

  • Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service – a free phone and online NSW Health coaching service supporting people over 16 years of age living in NSW to make lifestyle changes.​
  • Go4Fun – a free 10-week program led by trained health professionals, for NSW kids aged 7-13 and their families. It's a great way for kids to get fit through play and to help them feel more confident and boost their self-esteem.
  • Go4Fun Online – available specifically for families in NSW who are unable to attend the face-to-face version of the program. It provides information and support to develop healthy habits.

Aboriginal programs

Tailored programs are available to support Aboriginal people with healthy lifestyle tools and advice. These include:

View the full list of free programs and tools available to adults and children in NSW.

More resources

It's important to remember that the best way families can move towards a healthier lifestyle, is to start with simple, easy changes that will become part of their daily routine.

Current as at: Monday 22 January 2024
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health