Australia’s first family-centred, multidisciplinary clinic to help mums, dads and kids tackle obesity and achieve a healthy weight was officially opened by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.
Mr Hazzard said the Nepean Blue Mountains Family Obesity Service was unique because for the first time whole families would receive the medical and social support they need from one dedicated team.
“This is a truly innovative free service that promises to help families to work together to achieve a sustainable healthy weight and improve their quality life,” said Mr Hazzard.
“The Service draws on the expertise of a multidisciplinary team and the latest in clinical research to provide seamless and effective care.”
The Nepean Blue Mountains Family Obesity Service works across disciplines including hospital clinics, GP care and community programs.
The Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) has partnered with the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network and the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre Nepean to deliver the Service.
The team includes doctors and specialists in endocrinology and diabetes management, paediatricians, dietitians, psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses and midwives.
The expert staff recognise that factors such as genetics, social and cultural, as well as lifestyle, all play a part in maintaining healthy weight and they offer targeted interventions that aim to break the cycle of obesity.
“The University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre is proud to be partnering on the country’s first family obesity service, and for the opportunity to apply the latest multidisciplinary, evidence-based approaches to tackle an issue that can have such significant impact on peoples’ lives,” said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.
We’ve developed a unique model of community-based care and intervention that could serve as an example for similar collaborations nationwide.
NBMLHD Chief Executive Kay Hyman said excess weight was having a significant impact on the health of more than half the adults and a quarter of the children in the region.
“Helping our community achieve their healthy weight and enjoy all the benefits that this brings is one of our key priorities,” said Mrs Hyman.
“We recognised that it can sometimes be very difficult for individuals, kids and families to lose weight that’s why we brought together a highly experienced, local, team and applied the latest research to help people get healthy.”
Patients, including pregnant women, children and adults, are referred to the Service by their GP.
The Service is based at Nepean Hospital and the Nepean Clinical School of The University of Sydney.
Less than one in ten Australians eats the recommended amount of vegetables and that could be because – with the exception of vegetables such as carrots and spinach – there is a lack of understanding about specific benefits. Research suggests we could get closer to the standard of five serves a day through labelling.