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Establishing a sustainable childhood obesity monitoring system in regional Victoria

journal contribution
posted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Nicholas Crooks, Claudia StrugnellClaudia Strugnell, Colin BellColin Bell, Steven AllenderSteven Allender
Issue addressed: Childhood obesity poses a significant immediate and long-term burden to individuals, societies and health
systems. Infrequent and inadequate monitoring has led to uncertainty about trends in childhood obesity prevalence in many
countries. High-quality data, collected at regular intervals, over extended timeframes, with high response rates and timely feedback
are essential to support prevention efforts. Our aim was to establish a sustainable childhood obesity monitoring system in regional
Australia to collect accurate anthropometric and behavioural data, provide timely feedback to communities and build community
engagement and capacity.
Methods: All schools from six government regions of South-West Victoria were invited to participate. Passive (opt-out) consent was
used to collect measured anthropometric and self-reported behavioural data from children in years 2, 4, and 6, aged 7–12 years.
Results: We achieved a 70% school participation rate (n = 46) and a 93% student response rate (n = 2198) among government and
independent schools. Results were reported within 10 weeks post data collection. Harnessing high levels of community
engagement throughout the planning, data collection and reporting phases increased community capacity and data utility.
Conclusions: The monitoring system achieved high response rates, community engagement and community capacity building,
and delivered results back to the community in a timely manner.



Health promotion journal of Australia






96 - 102


CSIRO Publishing


Clayton, Vic.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Australian Health Promotion Association