A WORKSHOP in Port Fairy this week will develop an action plan to improve the eating and exercise habits of Warrnambool and Moyne children.
The action plan is being developed following extensive research at south-west schools and preschools that found while good promotion of healthy eating and physical activity was being conducted, there was room for improvement in promotion of nutrition.
The workshops at Port Fairy today and tomorrow are part of the South West Healthy Kids program that promotes physical activity and healthy eating for children aged 3-12 years and their families.
Those working on the action plan will include representatives from local schools, community and health agencies.
Information from west Warrnambool and communities across the Moyne Shire about physical activity and healthy eating will be used to determine priorities for the action plan.
The information was gathered from schools and preschools in west Warrnambool, Koroit, Port Fairy, Macarthur/Hawkesdale and Mortlake and included a survey of parents and a classroom activity with children.
Project chair Catherine Loria said the review identified the local factors that either helped or hindered physical activity and healthy eating in children and families.
“The assessment has shown that schools, preschools and local government are already promoting healthy eating and physical activity but there is room for strengthening this work particularly in the area of nutrition,” Ms Loria said.
“Now we will build a plan to address those issues, taking into account academic evidence and current directions in government policy in relation to healthy eating and physical activity, particularly in children.”
An Analysis Grid for Elements Linked to Obesity (ANGELO) will be used at the workshop to prioritise potential actions and develop a draft plan to respond to identified local needs.
It will be facilitated by Associate Professor Steven Allender, who is deputy director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University.
The workshop will also includes training for stakeholders on issues relating to obesity, healthy eating, physical activity and body image.
The South West Healthy Kids program is an initiative of the South West Primary Care Partnership and involves local government, community and health agencies.