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.