Although there is news media coverage of these issues, there remains a limited understanding of the causes of overweight and obesity, and how young people are affected within the general Australian population. As part of the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies (ACYS) Face the Facts series, this briefing package aims to bring to the attention of decision-makers some of the key statistics, policy implications and opportunities relating to youth and overweight and obesity, and to raise the importance of these issues.
Snapshot - provides key statistics and an overview of the issues and policy implications.
Briefing - goes into greater detail about the issues involved, and includes information on current research, programs and organisations working in this area.
The information below provides additional information to the briefing package, with links to organisations, policy and news related to youth overweight and obesity.
ACAORN coordinates research collaboration among Australian child and adolescent obesity research groups.
Promoting a Healthy Australia (the Australian National Preventive Health Agency) is committed to improving health outcomes for all Australians. In partnership with the Commonwealth and the state and territory governments, the Agency is driving the national capacity for change and innovation around preventive health policies and programs.
As Australia's peak national non-government cancer control organisation, Cancer Council Australia advises the Australian Government and other bodies on practices and policies to help prevent, detect and treat cancer. We also advocate for the rights of cancer patients for best treatment and supportive care.
IASO is the leading global professional organisation concerned with obesity and operates in more than 50 countries around the world, with a mission to improve global health.
The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) is conducting a study focused on combating obesity and weight problems in teenagers.
The program, which is based on a similar program successfully trialled in the US, will recruit participants between the ages of 12 - 17 years and requires them to undertake weekly online sessions, where they can also log their food diary and record activity levels. A confidential discussion board is also available to allow participants to support one another as they work through the sessions. The teenagers involved in the 12 week program will also be sent reminder text messages and words of encouragement throughout the study.
The NHMRC onsolidates within a single national organisation the often independent functions of research funding and development of advice. It aims to bring together and draw upon the resources of all components of the health system.
The Preventative Health Taskforce provides evidence-based advice to government and health providers – both public and private – on preventative health programs and strategies, and support the development of a National Preventative Health Strategy. The Taskforce includes members from all areas of health, and cover all aspects of health-related issues, including those that affect young people.
Based at Monash University, the OPHRU research program aims to build the evidence base for public health policy regarding the prevention of obesity and its consequent diseases.
The Parents' Jury is an online network of parents, grandparents and guardians, who are interested in improving the food and physical activity environments of Australian children. The Parents' Jury is an initiative of Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Australia – Vic, the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society, VicHealth and YMCA Victoria.
Overweight and obesity policies are difficult to assess as the issues are generally addressed in policies targeting general health.
However, since 2008, the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) has released an annual league table on how the states and territories are performing in obesity prevention (ANZOS 2011) in order to encourage governments to prioritise action on obesity.
This survey will expand on the 2004-05 survey by increasing the number of participants by 30%, collecting new information on a range of health issues; and for the first time, obesity and blood pressure levels, as well as nutritional status and chronic disease, will be directly measured. Original article
Bright Bodies, a family-based program created by researchers from the Yale School of Medicine for urban children in the US, shows promising results in addressing childhood obesity. Original article
Planet Health, a school curriculum in the UK promoting good nutrition and physical activity, is known to reduce both obesity and eating disorders. Now a new analysis estimates that the intervention may even save money by preventing teenage girls from developing bulimia. Original article
Two out of three severely obese kids already have at least one risk factor for heart disease, suggests research published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood. Original article
While obesity can be identified in Australian children as young as two years old, many of the health effects associated with the condition don't emerge until the adolescent years, according to new research by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. Original article
Blue Mountains City Council has adopted an action plan to reduce problems caused by young people drinking to excess in the Blue Mountains. The plan calls for the combined action of liquor outlets, police, the community sector and government agencies. Original article
The aim of a recent review was to assess the current state of evidence about what interventions are most effective in working with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Original article
This report from the Commissioner for Children in Tasmania looks at the experiences of young people who have left state care - their reasons for leaving and transition to independence. Original article