Narrabri has won the NSW Healthy Town Challenge for 2017 earning a combined $20,000 in grants for its efforts to get locals to eat well, move more and sit less.
Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries joined Minister for Health Brad Hazzard in congratulating the town’s participants, who lost a combined weight of 260 kilos.
“With 13,000 residents, Narrabri is now famous not only for its cotton-growing but also for taking action to become the healthiest small town in NSW in 2017,” Mr Humphries said.
“I also want to congratulate the other towns that participated in the Challenge – Oberon, which was highly commended, Grenfell, Cowra and Coonabarabran.”
Supported by NSW Health and the Heart Foundation, the Challenge encourages regional communities with populations of between 1,000 and 15,000 to get active.
Based on an application process, five towns are selected and given an initial $15,000 grant to implement healthy initiatives, with the winning town receiving a further $5,000.
Narrabri introduced a Healthier Oils Program where local food outlets switched to healthier cooking oils; a walking program around Narrabri Lake and other initiatives including a weight loss coaching service to support locals in their weight loss efforts.
Mr Hazzard said all the initiatives were successful in helping the town’s 113 Challenge participants shed an average 2.3 kilograms to take out the 2017 title.
“I am advised prior to the Healthy Town Challenge, Narrabri had one of the highest levels of obesity in the entire New England North West,” Mr Hazzard said.
“To its credit, the community came together to do something about it and, in doing so, the people of Narrabri set a wonderful example to us all of the benefits of better looking after ourselves.”
Applications for the 2018 NSW Healthy Town Challenge open on 16 October 2017. Application forms will be available at http://www.preventivehealth.net.au/.