WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR COLAC OTWAY CHOOSE CHANGE?
In early 2017, Deakin University undertook data collection within local primary schools in the Colac Otway Shire. This was achieved by using a Deakin developed Australian-first local monitoring system that allowed an accurate breakdown of the weight and health status of our children for the first time ever. We already had an idea that overweight and obesity levels have been on the increase throughout Australia, but were unclear on the actual magnitude.
The combined rates for years 2, 4 and 6 showed that 29.6% of boys and 40.5% of girls are overweight or obese.
As a community we care because research shows that, unless things change, this will only increase.
As a community we care because not only does being overweight or obese increase risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes and asthma, but can lead to mental health concerns including depression, anxiety and poor self-esteem and can lead to bullying and teasing.
As a community we care because these children are at risk of being disadvantaged regarding education attainment, employment status and income level compared to their peers in a healthy weight category.
But it's no one individual's fault.
As society and the way we work has changed, the environment we live in has changed.
THE GOOD NEWS!
We can help fix this. Not on our own, but as a community, we can be part of the solution.
HOW CAN WE CREATE CHANGE?
We can create change in many different areas throughout our community!
Some areas we can improve on are:
- Infrastructure and social support
- Health eating in education settings
- Food environments
- Healthy eating in sports clubs and events
- Access to fresh food
- Unstructured physical activity
- Physical activity in education settings
- Structured physical activity
- Workplace health