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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 17 November 2005) . . Page.. 4348 ..

The scholarships will not be offered until 2006 and therefore no applications have been submitted to the Center to date.

Health—childhood obesity(Question No 614)

Mr Smyth asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 21 September 2005:

What is the current rate of childhood obesity in the ACT;

How does this figure compare to the results for the previous five years;

What is the Government currently doing to reduce childhood obesity;

Given that the NSW Government recently announced details of a multi-million dollar obesity prevention trial, has the Minister looked at the details of this trial;

Would the ACT Government consider implementing a similar trial locally; if so, when; if not, why not.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

There is limited reliable data available on the prevalence of obesity in children and young people less than 18 years of age residing within the ACT. The development of appropriate childhood overweight and obesity surveillance and monitoring mechanisms is in progress. (see below answer to Question 3).

Unpublished data from the ACT Kindergarten Health Screen suggest that 12 per cent of boys aged up to 6.5 years were overweight and four per cent were obese in 2004. 14 per cent of girls aged up to 6.5 years were overweight and four per cent were obese in 2004.

Unpublished trend data is only available over a four-year period from 2001 to 2004. Over the four year period there has been:

a two per cent increase in overweight for ACT kindergarten boys aged up to 6.5 years; and

a two per cent decrease in obesity for ACT kindergarten girls aged up to 6.5 years.

ACT Health established in 2004 an ACT Government Obesity Leadership Group to coordinate across government healthy weight initiatives, particularly the implementation of initiatives funded in the ACT Budget 2004-05.

In the ACT Budget 2004-05, ACT Health was allocated $2m over 4 years for Combating Childhood Obesity projects including:

Monitoring and surveillance;

Family Weight Management Program;

Expanding the Tuckatalk in Schools Program;

Healthpact - Health Promoting Schools Vitality Funding Round; and

Implementation of the National Obesity Action Plan.

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