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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier of Queensland
    The Honourable Peter Beattie
    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    HEALTHY KIDS SURVEY GETS UNDERWAY ACROSS QUEENSLAND

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier of Queensland
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    HEALTHY KIDS SURVEY GETS UNDERWAY ACROSS QUEENSLAND

    Just how healthy Queensland children are will be measured for the first time in a large scale school survey of up to 7,000 students, Premier Peter Beattie announced today ahead of the Queensland Obesity Summit.

    Mr Beattie said the comprehensive nutrition and physical activity survey will provide a State-wide picture of the health of Queensland children.

    “There is currently little hard evidence about the eating habits and physical activity of Queensland children and this survey will change that,” he said.

    “Queensland Health has contracted the University of Queensland to conduct the survey which will involve up to 90 public and private schools and investigate children’s eating habits, physical activity and weight levels.

    “We know more and more Queenslanders are becoming overweight and obese and it is taking a massive toll on our health system and other government services.

    “The obesity problem is also behind this week’s Queensland Obesity Summit which is bringing experts and community stakeholders together to work in partnership with Government to find solutions.

    “Importantly, we need clear, reliable evidence about what our kids get up to during a normal week so the results will inform future policy decisions about the health of our children beyond the summit.”

    Mr Beattie said 7,000 students from years 1, 5 and 10 would be asked to take part in the Healthy Kids Queensland Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey with the research component expected to be completed by September.

    Health Minister Stephen Robertson and Education Minister Rod Welford said the survey was a step forward in gathering accurate data to help guide the development and evaluation of programs to improve levels of nutrition and physical activity in children.

    “Children who are overweight or obese are more likely in the short-term to develop hormonal, gastrointestinal and some joint problems,” said Minister Robertson.

    “In many cases, overweight children also experience low self-esteem and depression,” he said.

    “Eating and activity habits developed in childhood also have a major impact on health in later life.

    “In the longer term, these children are more likely to become overweight adults and to develop chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.”

    Mr Beattie said trained researchers from UQ will run information sessions about the survey for each selected class and visit the students three times during the course of the survey.

    Mr Welford said the survey will gather information on physical activity and nutrition via questionnaires and through measurement in a way that captures the interest of students, teachers and parents.

    “Students will be asked about the foods they eat and measure their physical activity with the help of a personal pedometer.”

    Mums and dads with children in year 1 and 5 will be asked to help complete the food diaries and questionnaires.

    Physical measurements such as height, weight and waist circumference will also be taken confidentially by trained research assistants.

    Data for individual children and schools will not be identified as part of the survey.

    The survey is a key initiative of the Queensland Government’s action plan “Eat Well, Be Active – Healthy Kids for Life”.

    For each year level, there is a different version of the research instruments:

    ·Physical activity questionnaire (12 page booklet)

    ·Pedometer log (16 page booklet)

    ·Eating habits and food frequency questionnaire (long booklet)

    ·24-hour food diary (long booklet).

    The State-wide roll out follows on from a small-scale pilot which involved four schools to develop and test the survey.

    /ends

    May 3, 2006

    Media Contacts: Premier’s Office 3224 4500

    Health Minister’s Office 3234 1185