New resource to help prevent childhood obesity

Childhood obesity rates continue to escalate with around 25 per cent of Australian children now overweight or obese compared to five per cent in the 1960s*. To help reverse this trend and break the cycle of family obesity, Home-Start Family Services Australia and nib foundation have partnered to deliver the Eat, Move, Live project to families living in Victoria.

The project will assist struggling families supported by Home-Start, PANDA and Baptcare by increasing their knowledge and practical skills to provide healthy and affordable food, and easy, fun, physical exercise for the whole family.

Home-Start volunteers from across Melbourne took part in a full day training workshop last week to equip them with the skills to deliver the project to families in the region.

Home-Start Family Services CEO, Marilyn Barnes, said the project arose following demand from families for practical help and resources to support them to make changes in their eating and exercise habits.

“The project features a website, Facebook page and printed resources full of simple, healthy, affordable ideas for meals, snacks and good nutrition. It also includes straight-forward, entertaining ways to increase physical movement for both children and adults” Ms Barnes said.

“It’s designed for busy parents, with lots of hints, tips, and suggestions for making small realistic changes that will make a big difference to their children and family’s health and lifestyle habits.

“In addition, Home-Start’s network of local volunteers who visit families weekly are now equipped with new skills and resources to provide hands-on assistance and demonstrate how to implement the ideas in the home,” she added.

nib foundation Chairman, Keith Lynch, said providing families with better education and awareness of good nutrition and activity habits will help them to make positive decisions regarding their health leading to improved emotional and physical outcomes.

“Many parents find it difficult to make affordable and nutritional meals for their families. This resource will help provide easy to follow recipes that won’t break the family budget,” Mr Lynch said.

“By making these resources available free-of-charge we are providing families the opportunity to make simple changes in their lifestyles that will significantly improve their health.”

PANDA Home-Start Coordinator, Betti Gabriel said “the program has given our home visit volunteers great information, tips, tools and fun activities that we can share with mums where appropriate, to empower them to make informed choices that boost the wellbeing of their families.”

The Eat, Move Live resource is available at and

*Figure obtained from the Federal Department of Health and Ageing website.