Tackling childhood obesity- a NSW priority
In September 2015, the NSW Premier announced ‘addressing childhood obesity’ as one of his 12 personal priorities for New South Wales. The priority has set a target to reduce the rates of childhood overweight or obesity, from the 2014 level where more than one in five children were overweight or obese, by 5% over the next 10 years.
While a range of interventions are required to tackle childhood obesity, there is evidence that policy to reduce children’s exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods should be in the mix as it is one of the most cost-effective obesity prevention initiatives. This aligns with recent international recommendations, including the World Health Organisation Ending Childhood Obesity report on tackling childhood and adolescent obesity around the world.
Additionally, the NSW Healthy Eating and Active Living Strategy 2013-2018 includes an action to contribute to national efforts to reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy foods. It will be interesting to see if these recommendations are translated into actions.