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Project Energize: Targeting childhood obesity

DONNA-LEE BIDDLE, March 19 2017, Stuff

Natalie Parkes is a clinical psychologist at the Waikato District Health Board.

Natalie Parkes is a clinical psychologist at the Waikato District Health Board and works with three others, a medical officer, a dietitian and an activity coordinator, in implementing Bodywise.

Its aim was simple: Get kids active and educate them about healthy foods.And Project Energize has been so successful, it has been implemented not just domestically – in Waikato, Counties Manukau and Northland – it has now crossed the globe to Ireland.The programme began in 2005 as an experiment in Waikato primary schools set up as a ‘randomised control trial’ – with 62 schools participating and another 63 schools used for comparison. It has now expanded to service 242 primary and intermediate schools from Coromandel to Taumaranui.

When the programme was last evaluated, in 2011, the childhood obesity rate of participants was down 3 per cent compared to before the programme launched and 78 per cent of schools reported improved quality of daily fitness.

Read the full story on Stuff. 

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