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Childhood obesity

In 2015, more than one in five children in NSW was overweight or obese.

In children, this incurs a psychological, social and health impacts, with more than 80 per cent of obese children going on to become obese adults.

The Premier has established a priority for the NSW Government to reduce overweight and obesity rates of children by 5% over the next 10 years (commencing 2016), meaning 62,000 children will be at a healthy weight.

Under the Government Delivery Plan, the Office of Sport plays a key role in leading actions for meeting the Premier’s obesity target.

The Government Delivery Plan articulates cross-agency actions to address gaps and strengthen current activities, as well as new program areas that are recommended to meet the Premier’s obesity target.

The Office of Sport is working with other agencies to address the recommendations of the Standing Committee on the Social Issues Inquiry into overweight and obesity within children.  

The Inquiry report was released in December 2016 containing 16 key recommendations and the NSW Government will provide a formal response by 15 June 2017.

Children’s current behaviours are not in line with healthy lifestyle guidelines:

  • Only 29% meet physical activity guidelines and 44% spend more than 2 hours per day on sedentary leisure activities
  • Australian children obtain more than one third of their kilojoules from unhealthy food and drinks
  • Around 1 in 3 children are drinking a can of sugary drink and 1 in 3 are eating salty snack foods each day
  • Less than 1% of children eat the recommended number of vegetable serves per day
  • Less than 10% eat the recommended amount of healthy dairy foods.

Worldwide, childhood overweight and obesity has been increasing and despite isolated successes in some settings and local regions, no country has successfully reversed this trend.

Addressing this problem requires a multifaceted, population-based approach, focusing on preventing unhealthy weight gain by supporting healthy eating and adequate physical activity.