An analysis of current obesity strategies for adolescents in NSW against best practice recommendations: Implications for researchers, policymakers and practitioners

Stephanie R Partridge*, Lindsey Reece, Kyra A Sim, Allyson Todd, Si Si Jia, Rebecca Raeside, Teisha Schirmer, Philayrath Phongsavan, Julie Redfern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

ISSUE ADDRESSED: Obesity is a significant health challenge facing adolescents. There is a critical need for government action to support all adolescents to improve risk factors for obesity. This study critically appraised initiatives, guidelines and policies (termed "strategies") from local health districts (LHDs), speciality health networks and Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across New South Wales (NSW), relevant to the prevention and management of obesity amongst adolescents and compare these to best practice recommendations.

METHODS: We critically appraised strategies against best practice recommendations that included support, access, responsiveness to needs, supportive environment, monitoring and evaluation and health equity. Strategies were collected by systematically searching websites of 15 LHDs, one speciality health network and 10 PHNs.

RESULTS: There was evidence of strategies regarding adolescent obesity prevention and management across all best practice recommendations. There was limited evidence of adolescent consumer participation, digital strategies for health services and online health information. There were minimal targeted public or school-based education campaigns and interventions on physical activity or nutrition. Place-based approaches such as sports and recreation facilities were not included in policies regarding the sale of healthy food and drinks. Evaluation evidence across all strategies was minimal.

CONCLUSIONS: Numerous strategies are being implemented across NSW to address adolescent obesity. Despite this, the alignment of strategies with best practice recommendations is poor and evidence of progress in tackling adolescent obesity remains unclear. 

SO WHAT?: Opportunities to generate and translate best practice evidence within government strategies for obesity must be prioritised with embedded measurement and evaluation plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
JournalHealth promotion journal of Australia : official journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

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