An obesity study conducted in Cholac, Victoria appears to have met with unprecedented success. The project was successful in reducing the weight of more than 2,000 children aged four to 12.
The three-year study found that kids were one kilogram lighter than those in a control group of children. "Most people would think individual weight loss of one kilogram is not much, but here we're talking about shifting (the weight of) a couple thousand kids and that's actually quite phenomenal," said Professor Boyd Swinburn from Deakin University. "In fact, across a population that's absolutely huge."
The program called Be Active, Eat Well, involved many people including parents, schools, sporting clubs, fast-food outlets and local media. The number of children who took part in school activities increased 60%, while TV viewing fell 21%.
There was 57% improvement in kids who brought healthy lunches to school. "The success if the program doesn't reduce the need to tackle obesity at a state and federal level, but it does give us a lot of optimism for dealing with it locally," Prof Swinburn said.