Tackling childhood obesity one superhero at a time

Gymnastics WA’s Gymsquad and Foodbank WA’s Superhero Foods characters have joined forces to launch a new educational initiative to make everyday foods like fruit and vegetables the superheroes in children’s diets.

Healthway Chief Executive Officer Susan Hunt PSM said the innovative project supported by Healthway sees Gymnastics WA and Foodbank WA working together to teach children the benefits of healthy lifestyles and provides fun resources and recipes to encourage and engage children and their families in healthy eating.

“While 44% of children aged 5-15 years reach the recommended levels of physical activity, only 5.3% of Western Australian children are meeting the recommended daily serve of fruit and vegetables,” Ms Hunt said.

“Childhood obesity continues to be a major public health issue, so these sorts of projects are vital.”

Overweight and obese children are also more likely to become obese adults and develop chronic conditions at younger ages, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Currently, the State Government, through Healthway, provides Gymnastics WA $260,000 over two years to promote the Go for 2&5 healthy eating message throughout its clubs. During 2016 and 2017, Healthway provided Foodbank more than $200,000 to deliver a range of educational resources.

Gymnastics WA Executive Director Ruth Gibbons said it was important for the club to work with Healthway and Foodbank WA to take a more holistic and proactive approach towards health by also making a difference to the eating habits of our children.

“I look forward to children making fruit and vegetables the supehero part of their diet,” Ms Gibbons said.

Foodbank WA Chief Executive Officer Greg Hebble said eating more fruit and vegetables is one of the most important dietary changes needed to improve health and reduce the risk of disease in children

“The recipe cards creatively engage children in increasing knowledge, attitude and skills towards healthy food and cooking,” Mr Hebble said.

To view the recipe cards visit  www.gymsquad.asn.au and for further Superhero Foods recipes and resources visit www.superherofoodshq.org.au.