Results of NSW school obesity study released

A study into the rates of obesity in school-aged children in NSW has revealed that obesity rates are holding steady at 23 per cent.

The study which was completed in 2010 as part of the NSW Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS) measured over 8000 students across the state, looking at the rates of obesity as well as students' eating and activity patterns.

NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said that the SPANS reports will be used by the NSW Government to form programs to reduce the levels of obesity in school-aged children.

The state will receive $53 million to implement healthy weight, eating and activity programs under the Healthy Children's Initiative of the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health (NPAPH).

The NPAPH is a federal government initiative that aims to combat the increasing prevalence of chronic disease across all levels of Australian society as a result of unhealthy lifestyles.

The study also revealed the following results in NSW school students:

  • While 96 per cent of primary school students consumed the recommended amount of fruit (three serves per day), only 42 per cent of Year 8 and 10 students were found to be eating the recommended amount of fruit.
  • The activity levels of boys are significantly higher than the activity levels of girls, with 52 per cent of boys achieving the recommended activity levels compared with 41 per cent of girls.
  • Obesity levels are higher in boys than in girls, with 24 per cent of boys being classified as overweight or obese compared with 21.5 per cent of girls.

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