National Healthy School Canteens Project Training Program 1 Program Briefing

Page last updated: 14 October 2013

Over the last 20 years, rates of obesity in children have steadily risen in many countries around the world.

Data from a number of national and state/territory surveys, while not directly comparable, indicate that the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased steadily from around 10% in 1985 to approximately 20% in 1995, when the first National Nutrition Survey was conducted, and appears to have peaked at 25% in 2003/04 as reported by the Sentinel Site for Obesity Prevention in Victoria. Recent data from the 2007 Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey puts the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australian children at approximately 23%.

Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for chronic disease later in life such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Some experts predict that if the current trend in childhood overweight and obesity continues, this generation of children may be the first to experience shorter life spans than their parents.

Department of Health and Ageing 2008, 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey : main findings prepared by Commonwealth Scientific [and] Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Preventative Health National Research Flagship, and the University of South Australia. Canberra, ACT.

Note – studies represented in graph are listed on page 22.