With childhood obesity a growing problem in Australia it is important that the problem is addressed at all levels. Parents, educators and the Government (both state and federal) alike need to tackle this problem.
It is estimated that at least 25% of children in Australia today are overweight or obese. And the problem is getting worse.
In recent times the rate of obesity in children has increased at the rate of 0.5% per year in USA and nearly 1% in Canada, Australia and UK over the last two decades.
Over a 20-year period, the rate of obesity in older children and adolescents in the US grew from 15.4 % to 25.6% and tripled in Canada from 12% to 30%. Many parents throughout the world are taking up the fight against obesity but the incidence is still growing at a phenomenal rate.
Here in Australia the Rudd Government has finally started to address the issue from a national level with the trial of a Fresh Food Demonstration program being launched in six Primary schools across Australia.
Schools participating in the Fresh Food Demonstration program:
- Elizabeth Downs Primary School (SA)
- Moonah Primary School (Tas)
- Palymra Primary School (WA)
- Bondi Public School (NSW)
- Majura Primary School (ACT)
- Alawa Primary School (NT)
The Rudd Government committed $60,000 for each of these schools to implement the program in which students are given the chance to get hands-on experience in healthy eating. Students will be given the opportunity to work in a productive garden and harvest the food themselves. They will also be able to prepare meals using the food they produced in purpose-built teaching kitchens and then enjoy eating it with other students and parents.