Reducing childhood obesity

10 November 2015

Cabinet has endorsed a package of initiatives to both prevent and manage obesity in children and young people aged up to 18 years. As children and young people spend approximately a third of their waking hours during the school term at school, and often more time in early childhood services, these settings are an important environment for influencing their physical activity and food choices. The Health and Physical Education learning area has the underlying concepts of:

  • hauora (health and wellbeing)
  • attitudes and values – positive, responsible attitude to own wellbeing, care and concern, respect for others and environment, sense of social justice
  • socio-ecological perspectives
  • health promotion.

This learning area makes a significant contribution to lifelong learning and wellbeing beyond the classroom, particularly when supported by school policies and procedures and by the actions of all people in the community. In early childhood services, children’s health and physical wellbeing is a key component of the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki.

The Education Review Office has been asked to undertake a national report on the current status of food, nutrition and physical activity in schools and early childhood services. This national evaluation is currently being designed and will be undertaken next year, beginning in Term 1, 2016 with a review of practice in early childhood services.