Obesity Summit urged to improve child care health standards

On the eve of the Morrison Government’s National Obesity Summit, Healthy Australia CEO and children’s health activist Ms Ruby O’Rourke claims that a long-term solution to Australia’s growing obesity epidemic can be achieved by instilling healthy eating habits and emphasising proper nutrition in Australia’s 28,000 child care services who feed 800,000 children breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

“Just as early years learning is rightfully recognised as the foundation for better future education outcomes, so should early years nutrition be the foundation for better health outcomes,” Ms O’Rourke said.

Ms O’Rourke claims that Australia is stuck in an ‘obesity trap’, especially with respect to young children, in light of:

  • Research showing that 95 out of every 100 child care services providing meals in this country are not feeding children appropriately or do not comply with the Australian Dietary Guidelines
  • Children’s services trying to devise and deliver healthy meals on tight budgets often as little as 33 cents per child, per day
  • Bureaucratic blockages denying better in-care nutritional standards and the measurement of policy improvements because “standards within child care services are being met”, when they are clearly not
  • Children’s services not required by the Department of Education to have qualified cooks, or food business licences despite the amount of food made on premises to paying parents

The Summit commences on Friday 15 February.

Ruby will be in Canberra (near Parliament House) from 11.30am onwards today (Thursday 14 February) and is

/Public Release.