A program aimed at improving the health and well-being of children above a healthy weight has just registered its 10,000th participant and won one of the State’s top health awards.
The Go4Fun program was launched in 2011 for NSW children aged 7-13 who are above a healthy weight. It’s free and run as weekly sessions over ten weeks, to coincide with school terms. Qualified health professionals use games and other fun activities to teach children about healthy habits and support families in adopting healthier lifestyles.
“We’re really excited to clock up our 10,000th family in the Go4Fun program,” acting Population Health Executive Director Dr Michelle Cretikos said.
“It’s improving eating habits and fitness levels in these children as well as bolstering their self-esteem, and we find it often also inspires the children’s families to join them on their health journey as well.”
Since it began, the program has helped boost children’s physical activity levels by an average of four hours a week, reduced sedentary (screen) time by three hours a week, and reduced body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. The children have also gained more self-confidence as their health improves.
A culturally adapted version of the program called Aboriginal Go4Fun began earlier this year and has just won the Premier’s award for Tackling Childhood Obesity. The award recognises the program’s efforts to support the Premier’s Priority – of reducing overweight and obesity rates in children by five per cent by 2025.
“This is particularly exciting as it recognises the work being done to support Aboriginal communities. It’s critical we support as many families as possible, given around 80 per cent of children who are well above a healthy weight go on to become adults affected by obesity,” Dr Cretikos said. Media interviews with program participants are available on request.
For more information on Go4Fun, visit Go4Fun or call 1800 780 900.