World first study to prevent child obesity

CHILDCARE centres will be the target of obesity prevention measures under world first study at the Hunter Medical Research Institute.

Public health program manager Luke Wolfenden will study the impact of diet and exercise strategies at 200 pre-schools and long day care centres around NSW, including in  the Hunter.

The study, which is the first of its kind in its scale, will help improve diet and exercise options for  kids.

Dr Wolfenden said existing health promotion strategies such as distributing information booklets to child care educators did not go far enough.  

“One in four Australian children are classified as overweight or obese,’’ Dr Wolfenden said.

“We know that creating childcare environments more supportive of physical activity and a  healthy diet can prevent unhealthy weight gain in children.

“My research aims to find an effective way to support child care centres to implement healthy eating and physical activity promoting policies and practices.”

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