NSW Premier Mike Baird, Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Education Minister Adrian Piccoli were joined today at a Sydney primary school by a senior advisor to US President Barack Obama to explore a shared goal – reducing childhood obesity.
Shellie Pfohl leads the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and shapes efforts related to First Lady Michelle Obama’s national Let’s Move! initiative to solve childhood obesity within a generation.
Tackling childhood obesity is one of the 12 Premier’s Priorities. The goal is to reduce overweight and obesity rates by five per cent (68,000 children) over 10 years.
“We’re determined to protect children from the poor health and wellbeing outcomes associated with being overweight or obese – a goal we share with the US Government,” Mr Baird said.
Mrs Skinner said NSW Health data indicates the prevalence of excess weight and obesity in children has stabilised and may be showing early signs of improvement.
“Prevention is the key. NSW invests $30 million annually to implement education and activity-based programs in the community to reduce rates of excess weight and obesity – about 30 per cent of which is dedicated to programs for children,” she said.
Mr Piccoli said: “We want to give NSW students the best shot at improving their outcomes at school. Enhancing physical, social and emotional wellbeing is important if we are to achieve the Premier’s priority of improving student results.”
Crown Street Public School in Surry Hills participates in two of NSW’s key programs aimed at reducing childhood obesity – Live Life Well @ School and Crunch&Sip.
At the end of December 2015, 84 per cent of NSW public, catholic and independent primary schools had participated Live Life Well @ School training, with almost 81 per cent adopting the program – exceeding the 80% target.
Seventy eight per cent of NSW primary schools participate in Crunch&Sip – a time in addition to recess and lunch for children to eat vegetables or fruit and drink water.