Two communities using a community led approach to change their local childhood obesity system have won the Victorian Public Healthcare Award for Supporting Healthy Populations, providing great recognition and credit for community efforts to create healthy change.
Winners of the 2018 Victorian Public Healthcare Award for Supporting Healthy Populations, GenR8 Change and SEA Change Portland, empower their respective Southern Grampians and Portland communities to make environmental changes so that the healthier choice is easier and ultimately reduce prevalence of childhood obesity.
Almost 300 individual community led actions have been taken thus far. Examples to date include;
- Changes to school canteen menus and introduction of school health policies
- Changes to availability of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB’s) in health services, sporting hubs, clubs and community events
- Increased access to/promotion of drinking water
- Development of school drop off points for active transport.
Promising results have been measured, as BMI of local children has decreased! There have also been improvements in health behaviours across both communities, including; increased consumption of vegetables, fruit and water, less SSB’s and take-away foods, and active transport and physical activity.
Southern Grampians Glenelg Primary Care Partnership (SGGPCP) Executive Officer Janette Lowe says the whole community should be proud of this award. “This is great recognition of the important role community members have in making a difference to the health of their communities. Local communities have the power and skills to make sustainable change” said Ms Lowe.
The process of empowering the community to take action to make the healthier choice the easier choice is supported by SGGPCP, Portland District Health, Western District Health Service, Glenelg Shire Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council, Winda-mara Aboriginal Corporation, Dhauwurd-Wurrung Elderly and Community Health Service, and GLOBE at Deakin University.
SEA Change Portland and GenR8 Change are into their fourth and third years of implementation respectively. To find out more, head to their websites GenR8 Change and SEA Change Portland or find them on Facebook.Submit your story!