A new $571,000 program to get children eating healthier and being more active was announced today by Minister for Health Simon Corbell.
The ACT Medicare Local’s Connect Up 4 Kids Program gives advice to parents to help keep their children at a healthy weight.
“We know being overweight or obese is a serious health issue that can increase the risk of chronic diseases, and data from 2011-12 shows that approximately one quarter of children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese in the ACT,” Corbell said.
“The ACT Government is committed to supporting a healthy, active and productive community, and has made it a priority to address the challenging levels of obesity, particularly amongst children.
“The Connect Up 4 Kids Program targets 3-7 year old children, and is a three-year funded initiative of the Healthy Canberra Grants delivered within ACT general practices. The program is aimed at preventing childhood overweight and obesity rates.”
ACT Medicare Local Chair, Dr Martin Liedvogel, said one part of the program would be provide general practitioners and practice nurses with education, up-skilling opportunities and a toolkit of resources, as well as creating clear pathways for GPs to refer parents and their children onto appropriate follow-up services.
“The program will support general practice to provide advice to parents about keeping their kids at a healthy weight,” Dr Liedvogel said.
“It will give general practice a one-stop-shop toolkit of the latest information and services available in Canberra, so they can provide the most appropriate and timely advice for parents and their kids.”
Another part of the program that will be available in general practices and online is the Connect Up 4 Kids resource folder, which is specifically targeting parents with children aged between 3-7 years.
“The resource folder will be filled with fact sheets, information brochures, physical activity guidelines, and other easy tips for parents to try at home, and all of which will encourage children towards healthier and more active lifestyles, utilising simple and cost-effective approaches,” Mr Corbell said.
“The materials in the parent’s resource folder will focus around seven key messages, those being: Move Your Body, Switch of Screens, Good Night Sleep Tight, Be Healthy Together, Munch on Veg, Enjoy Some Fruit and Choose to Drink Water. These messages complement existing campaigns already in place within Canberra, such as Good Habits for Life and Tucker Talk.”