Less TV cuts kids' waistlines

A HUNTER public health program for kids and their families is shrinking waistlines and cutting time spent in front of the television.

John Hunter Children’s Hospital is running the free 10-week Go4Fun program with finance from NSW Health.

Designed for children aged seven to 13 who are outside the healthy weight range, and their parents or carers, the focus is on exercise, nutrition and behavioural change through fun education sessions and physical activities.

At the conclusion of the 10-week program, results across the Hunter showed participants decreased their waist circumference by an average of three centimetres and reduced their body mass index.

Physical activity increased 3.6hours a week and time spent doing sedentary activities decreased 1.5hours a week.

Delani Baker, 9, and her mother Kelly, of Waratah, have just completed the program.

Delani learnt to read food labels through a supermarket trip with a detective theme, gained an understanding of portion sizes with the help of a colourful measuring cup, and has embraced backyard activities, such as the game elastics.

She is also a keen netballer.

Mrs Baker said it helped the whole family, while empowering children.

‘‘Because I’m someone who struggles with weight I wanted to find something that was child-friendly,’’ she said.

For information phone 1800780900 or go to ">au/mendcentral.org/go4fun.

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