Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Helping families tackle child obesity

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator the Hon Kay Patterson, Minister for Health and Ageing
  • Senator the Hon Rod Kemp, Minister for the Arts and Sport

With rates of childhood obesity in Australia at one of the highest amongst developed nations, the Federal Government has launched a newsletter to help families tackle the problem.

Healthy Kids Australia was launched today by Minister for Health and Ageing, Kay Patterson, Minister for the Arts and Sport, Rod Kemp and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony.

Minister Kay Patterson said there was a clear need to address childhood obesity with approximately 20 per cent or one million Australian children estimated to be overweight or obese.

“We know that children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease, hormone disturbances, joint problems, back pain and psychological problems,” she said.

Minister Rod Kemp said he was concerned that more than 40 per cent of Australian children play no sport and do not participate in other physical activity.

“While sport alone is not the only the answer, it can make a significant contribution to reversing the increasing rates of obesity in Australian children,” he said

Minister Anthony said Healthy Kids Australia will give families the latest information and advice on keeping their children healthy and active through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

“We know that many children are filling up on high fat, high sugar food and drinks. They are also spending more time in front of the television than ever before and also spending great amounts of time playing on the computer.

“Parents have a responsibility to look after their children’s health and ensure their children are eating sensibly and getting enough exercise. Our children need to spend less time in front of the Playstation and more time in the playground.

“The Healthy Kids Australia newsletter gives parents some simple and practical advice on helping our children lead happy and healthy lives, ” Mr Anthony said.

Healthy Kids Australia is a collaborative effort by the Departments of Family and Community Services, Health and Ageing and the Australian Sports Commission.

It is a quarterly newsletter available from child care services, Centrelink and Family Assistance Offices and the Active Australia Schools network across the country.