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Australia’s first family obesity service opens

Australia’s first family-centred, multidisciplinary clinic to help mums, dads and kids tackle obesity and achieve a healthy weight has officially opened. The Nepean Blue Mountains Family Obesity Service is unique because for the first time whole families will receive the medical and social support they need from one dedicated team.

NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, says the $1 million Service will help thousands of families.

“Disturbingly, around one in five children are overweight or obese and without intervention they risk developing chronic disease later in life,” says Mr Hazzard.

“This Service is the first of its kind in Australia and offers families the medical and social support they need to maintain a healthy weight from one dedicated team.”

A truly innovative, free, service the Nepean Blue Mountains Family Obesity Service works across disciplines including hospital clinics, GPs 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.

Obesity Service plaque unveiling

Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres, NBMLHD Chief Executive Kay Hyman, NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard, NBMLHD Chair Peter Collins and The University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence

The University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence, says the new Service is a unique model of community-based care and intervention that could serve as an example for similar collaborations nationwide.

“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,” says Dr Spence.

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.

NBMLHD Chief Executive Kay Hyman says excess weight is 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,” says 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.

More information about the Nepean Blue Mountains Family Obesity Service.

Ends

24 April 2017

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