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Promoting behaviours that protect against childhood obesity

Hunter New England Local Health District

  • Translational Research Grants Scheme
Date Funded:
  • 31 August, 2016
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Professor John Wiggers

Preventing obesity among children and young people is a NSW Premier’s Priority. A key obesity prevention strategy is the implementation of effective programs to promote behaviours that protect against childhood obesity including physical activity and healthy eating. Despite this recommendation, few programs to date have been effective in impacting on adolescent weight status.

With respect to physical activity, a recent Australian program conducted in the Hunter New England Local Health District known as ‘Physical Activity 4 Everyone’ (PA4E1) has provided promising results. Despite developing a promising physical activity program, there is currently little evidence to guide the successful scale-up and population wide implementation of programs like PA4E1in secondary schools.

The research project seeks to support the development and translation of program evidence to prevent overweight and obesity among adolescents in two ways:
1) Assessment of the effectiveness of a scaled-up delivery of the PA4E1 program in 76 secondary schools across four local health districts in NSW
2) Assessment of potential effectiveness of secondary schools implementing healthy nutrition practices among students and the piloting of a program to promote healthy nutrition in a number of schools.

Collaborators: Local health districts (Hunter New England, Mid North Coast, Central Coast and South Western Sydney), University of Newcastle