Practice nurses key to curbing obesity in kids

GENERAL practice nurses are the lynchpin in the push to prevent childhood obesity in Australia, a leading expert says.

Dr Elizabeth Denney-Wilson, research fellow at the University of NSW’s Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, said unless practice nurses were given the support, knowledge and resources to take on the mantle of prevention, the fight could never be won.

This included being given extra funding to ask and inform parents while carrying out the Healthy Kids Check at age four.

“It’s really clear to us almost nothing has been done in primary care for overweight and obese kids in Australia,” Dr Denney-Wilson said.

More than 20% of four- and five-year-olds are overweight in Australia, yet just 10% of children eligible for the Healthy Kids Check have had one.

As part of a pilot study carried out by Dr Denney-Wilson, who presented the findings at this month’s APNA Roadmap for the