A mandate for childhood weight management services

Project title: Policy and practice in managing childhood obesity: Implementation case studies in Queensland and NSW
Project lead: Dr Helen Vidgen

A Prevention Centre project has provided a clear mandate for childhood overweight and obesity management programs to be embedded as part of usual care in the public health system in Australia.

Dr Helen Vidgen

The project found that while there was clear evidence supporting the effectiveness of such programs, they had no clear position in the health care system and were vulnerable to external factors such as changes in government, funding priorities and philosophical differences.

A week after a panel presentation of the project’s findings at the ANZ Obesity Society Conference in October 2016, the Queensland Health Minister was briefed on the issue and more funding was committed for child weight management services.

Project lead Dr Helen Vidgen said the Chief Health Officer had since said there was a need to offer childhood obesity management services to children in Queensland.

“This research is an important step in making services available to families,” she said. “The research highlights key considerations for health departments to ensure services are available in a sustainable way.”

Read more: Project web page; Findings brief