Ten years of Munch and Move success

In 2015, nearly a quarter of kids in our region was considered overweight or obese – a rate higher than the national average, and a rate that had been steadily increasing since data records in the 90s.

In July 2016, ‘Munch and Move’ was extended to family day care centres across the state as part of the NSW Government’s priority to reduce childhood overweight and obesity by five per cent over 10 years.

Now more than two million children across NSW have benefited from the healthy eating and physical activity program which today celebrates its 10th anniversary on World Obesity Day.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said Munch and Move now operates at more than 3000 – or close to 90 per cent – of all centre-based early childhood education centres throughout NSW.

“Without intervention and education, overweight kids will carry this excess weight into adulthood with serious health consequences,” Dr Chant said.

“Munch and Move is a fun, play-based program that aims to establish healthy habits early on to ensure kids don’t go on to develop chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”

The NSW Government in 2018/19 is investing $38 million to tackle obesity, including $25 million for childhood obesity and more than $3 million on the “Munch and Move” program.

Munch and Move works with children under five years of age attending early childhood education and care services in NSW to promote six key health messages:

• Encourage and support breastfeeding;

• Choose water as a drink;

• Eat more fruit and vegetables;

• Choose healthier snacks;

• Get active each day; and

• Turn off the screen and get active.

Munch and Move is providing families with healthy eating ideas and helping children instill daily habits of physical activity. The program is also addressing bad habits like regular drinking soft drinks and eating too many unhealthy snacks.