Health targets: Raising healthy kids

The Government has directed the Ministry of Health to develop a new set of performance measures to improve health outcomes for New Zealanders.

While work is underway to develop these new measures DHBs will continue to report to the Ministry against the current set of health targets, as well as against a previously established suite of wider measures.

See the Health targets page for more information on the development of new measures.

Raising health kids health target icon

What is the target?

By December 2017, 95% of obese children identified in the B4 School Check programme will be offered a referral to a health professional for clinical assessment and family-based nutrition, activity and lifestyle interventions.

Public reporting on the Raising Healthy Kids health target is based all completed B4 School Checks in a six-month period.

Why is this target important?

Obesity rates have increased in all ages, genders and ethnic groups over the last 30 years, with those born more recently becoming obese at a younger age. High body mass index (BMI) has now overtaken tobacco as the leading risk to health in New Zealand.

Obesity is particularly concerning in children as it is associated with a wide range of health conditions and increased risk of premature onset of illness. It can also affect a child’s immediate health, educational attainment and quality of life.

The Raising healthy kids health target focuses on intervening in the early stages of life to ensure positive, sustained effects on health.

The target will ensure four-year-olds identified as obese while getting their B4 School Check will be offered a referral to manage any medical complication and any services they and their family may find helpful to support healthy eating and activity.

The plan consists of a package of initiatives that aim to prevent and manage obesity in children and young people up to 18 years of age by focusing on:

  • targeted interventions for those who are obese
  • increased support for those at risk of becoming obese
  • broad approaches to make healthier choices easier for all New Zealanders.

The emphasis is on food, behaviour change, the environment and being active at each life stage, starting during pregnancy and early childhood. The package brings together initiatives across government agencies, the private sector, communities, schools, families and whānau.

Who is the target champion?

Professor Hayden McRobbie
Raising Healthy Kids Clinical Practice Champion Childhood Obesity

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