With 25% of Australian children considered overweight or obese, local children are being empowered to have a positive life-long relationship with food and sleep by a 12-month partnership with schools and families.

By so doing, the Root Cause Children’s Health Program will make an impact on improving their health, learning, behaviour, resilience and protecting the planet.

Throughout the 12 months, each school receives one-on-one support by local certified instructor Sokka Ung, who will provide in-person workshops for students, parents, and staff, plus an array of classroom resources, professional development and an online portal full of resources for families.

Ms Ung points out that the program is an urgent need locally as the childhood overweight and obesity rate in the South Western Sydney Local Health District is the second highest in the NSW State at 28.3%, which sits well above the State’s average of 22.4%, with Campbelltown LGA sits at 27.1%.

“This is a sad state,” says Ms Ung, also the founder of Heal and Nourish that has been “changing lives one veggie at a time.”

Supported by and funded by the South Western Sydney Primary Health Network, the Root Cause Children’s Health Program is delivered FREE to participating primary schools across the South Western Sydney region.

“Nutrition is at the heart of learning. What children eat can affect their health, concentration, behaviour and their academic results,” said Belinda Smith, founder of The Root Cause, author of The Lunchbox Effect, and creator of the Children’s Health Program.

“The Children’s Health Program makes food a fun experiment in schools. It’s not about putting more on schools and parents already busy to do lists, it’s about how we can all make simple swaps in what we’re already doing by having an underlying health focus.”

Ms Smith has travelled Australia delivering and refining the program in schools, and has given evidence to the Federal senate committee into the obesity epidemic in Australia.

Research studies have shown that:

  • only 6% of Australian kids are eating the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • 43% of Australian kids are living with 1 or more chronic conditi

The South Western Sydney Primary Health Networks are always looking for innovative ways to help people make healthier lifestyle choices. By providing fully funded scholarships, they are hoping to support five schools in the region to improve their health.