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NSW Inquiry into childhood obesity

The NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into childhood overweight and obesity received 42 submissions and tasked a committee to review them. The Committee put forward 16 recommendations in the following areas:

  • School canteens – consider an audit and compliance process in the 2017 Healthy Canteen Strategy
  • The PDHPE (Personal Development, Health and Physical Education) curriculum – promote and encourage wider participation in the Premier’s Sporting Challenge, implement programs that reduce sedentary behaviour and promote healthy eating in secondary students, train primary school teachers in physical education, incorporate nutrition and cooking in the school curriculum, and pilot a kitchen garden program targeting areas with high prevalence of overweight and obesity.
  • The cost of sport- investigate ways to reduce costs
  • Preconception, pregnancy and early childhood nutrition- better incorporate these into programs that address overweight and obesity
  • Parental responsibility- continue to implement and promote family programs such as Make Healthy Normal and Go4Fun
  • Urban planning- improve cross agency collaboration to consider health objectives
  • Active travel to school- continue work in this area
  • Shared sports facilities- enable opportunities for sharing between state and local governments, school and sporting organisations.
  • TV and Social media advertising- oppose bans on donations from restaurant chains or food or beverage producers to sporting clubs or organisations
  • Food labelling- improve the system in Australia through the COAG (Council of Australian Governments) forum
  • Cost and accessibility of food- investigate the healthy ‘food desert’ concept and map these to inform options to address them.
  • Collaboration with non-government and private sectors- seek opportunities with partners to support reducing childhood overweight and obesity, and prioritise low socioeconomic, regional or rural communities

Of topical interest is the Committee did not recommend a sugar sweetened Beverage (SSB) tax, primarily because it is under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Government, but they also noted that levels of SSB consumption has declined since 1997 whilst overweight and obesity has increased.

You can access the report here

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