Raising Healthy Kids health target starts 1 July

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

30 June 2016

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has welcomed the introduction of the new Raising Healthy Kids health target to help reduce childhood obesity.

“Obesity is a serious issue threating the health of young New Zealanders. In 2014/15 11 per cent of all children aged 2-14 years were obese. The figures for Maori and Pacific children are 15 per cent and 30 per cent respectively,” says Dr Coleman.

“The new health target is one of 22 initiatives in the Childhood Obesity Plan launched by the Government in October 2015.

“New Zealand is one of the few countries in the OECD to have a target and a comprehensive plan to tackle childhood obesity.

“The new Raising Healthy Kids health target will ensure four year olds identified as obese while getting their B4 School Check will be offered a referral to the services they and their family need to support healthy eating and activity.

“Over 58,600 children have benefited from this free check in the last year. Of that, over 1,400 were referred on for support with healthy eating and activity.

“Under the new target by December 2017 we expect that over 4,000 children a year - 95 per cent of children identified as obese - being supported to achieve a healthy weight.”

Dr Coleman today announced Professor Hayden McRobbie has been appointed as the Raising Healthy Kids Clinical Champion Childhood Obesity.

Professor McRobbie will work closely with the primary care sector and support the implementation of clinical pathways. He has over 16 years’ experience in behaviour change interventions.

Further information about the Plan and the new health target is available on the Ministry of Health website, www.health.govt.nz

Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129

Last updated: Thursday, June 30, 2016

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