New School of Thought on Obesity; Expert Believes Food Literacy Should Be Part of Curriculum to Improve Health Levels

Article excerpt


About 1.5 million children and teenagers under-18 a 20-25% of Australian children a are considered overweight or obese.

Obesity levels in the population doubled between 1985 and 1997.

If weight gain continues the path it is following, 80% of all Australian adults and a third of all children will be overweight or obese by 2020.



SHOULD high school home economics classes or home become the battleground in the fight against obesity?

A home economics expert believes food literacy a food labelling, preparation, and cooking a should form part of the core curriculum to get the health of future generations on track.

Dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University Professor Donna Pendergast said informal learning was not enough to get young people to make the right food choices. She said UK government reforms to teach food knowledge and skills to students aged seven to 16 were commendable.

But University of the Sunshine Coast nutrition expert Doctor Fiona Pelly believes educating children about health eating should begin long before high school.

Dr Pelly said healthy eating should start at home because children were heavily influenced by their environment.

aYou might be doing a sport at school but the children who are really into it usually come from families which are involved or support that sport,a she said. …


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