Preventing childhood obesity

The health of Queenslanders 2016 report states that 19 per cent of children in Queensland are overweight and a further seven per cent are obese. This rate has not changed since 2007–08. The rate of childhood obesity 30 years ago was two per cent.

Childhood obesity can have a range of adverse consequences including social discrimination, poor self-esteem, depression, and childhood type 2 diabetes. In the longer term, obese children have a higher likelihood of adult health problems such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, and joint problems.

These consequences can cause significant individual morbidity and mortality, lost productivity, and increased direct health care costs.

Your health, Queensland's future: Advancing health 2026 is a 10-year vision and strategy for the Queensland health system. It was released in 2016. One headline measure of the strategy’s success is reducing childhood obesity by 10 per cent by 2026. The Department of Health in its Overweight and obesity prevention strategy 2017 to 2020 details actions and targets for addressing the prevalence of childhood obesity.

In addition, schools deliver specific education initiatives to ensure children and families are aware of how to eat healthily and are aware of the importance of nutrition and weight in the context of overall health. Many variables can contribute to childhood obesity outcomes.

Anticipated tabling: to be advised

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