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Online course

Preventing Childhood Obesity: an Early Start to Healthy Living

Prevent childhood obesity by learning about healthy eating, physical activity, screen time and sleep for children under five.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Preventing Childhood Obesity: an Early Start to Healthy Living

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Why join the course?

Childhood obesity is one of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century and affects over 41 million children under the age of five. If not prevented at an early age it can become a lifelong condition and lead to very serious diseases and disorders.

This free online course follows the latest innovative research in childhood development to reveal what is contributing to these shocking figures and what can be done to prevent childhood obesity.

Join us over four unique and engaging weeks as we learn from well-respected and published professionals about obesity prevention in children under five, and gain lifestyle strategies to provide children with an early start to healthy living and pathways to healthy futures.

Discover lifestyle strategies for preventing childhood obesity

This course is designed to help parents and those who work with children. It will describe the main behaviours that contribute to childhood obesity – from birth to the age of five – and provide evidence-based advice on promoting and maintaining healthy levels of these behaviours.

Each week of the course will look at a different area and will address some of the following topics:

  • Making fruit and vegetables attractive
  • Offering healthy snacks and drinks
  • Promoting active play
  • Reducing screen time and sedentary behaviour
  • Creating healthy sleep patterns.

By the end of the course, you will be able to set goals to promote healthy behaviours in the children you care for and monitor their progress over time.

Learn with childhood obesity specialists at the Early Start Research Institute

The course has been developed by childhood obesity specialists at the Early Start Research Institute (ESRI) at the University of Wollongong Australia, which conducts research to inform professional practice, influence policy development, and enhance the lives of children, youth and families. Boasting world-class facilities and researchers, ESRI will share expertise throughout this course that will take you to the forefront of the latest innovative research in childhood development.

Join us on a mission over four life-changing weeks to prevent childhood obesity and provide all children with the best early start to a healthy life.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsChildhood obesity is one of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century. Globally, it is estimated that over 41 million children under the age of five are overweight or obese. Why? What is contributing to these shocking figures, and what can we do about it? If not prevented or treated at an early age, obesity has the potential to be a lifelong condition, increasing the risk of developing interrelated non-communicable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke, musculoskeletal disorders, and some types of cancer. The good news is that childhood obesity and its associated diseases are mostly preventable.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds The University of Wollongong and the Early Start Research Institute has developed a free online course focused on ages zero to five that will give you lifestyle strategies to prevent childhood obesity and forge a pathway to a healthy future. Learn the latest innovative research in childhood development from respected and published professionals. Over four unique and engaging weeks, you will learn about nutrition, physical activity, screen time and sleep, and how the delicate balance of these four elements is crucial in establishing healthy patterns in children's lives. Join us on four life-changing weeks, preventing obesity, and giving children an early start to healthy living, because every child deserves the best possible start to life.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Explain the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for infants and young children
  • Debate the issues that childhood obesity may pose for our population in future years
  • Compare and evaluate the practical approaches of putting lifestyle changes into practice in the home and early childhood education setting
  • Identify, describe and compare the guidelines for healthy eating, physical activity, screen time and sleep from different countries
  • Discuss the influence of parents and educators in establishing positive lifestyle behaviours
  • Report on the importance of setting goals to initiate and maintain behaviour change
  • Reflect on the need for optimising early lifestyle practices for future health

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for the parents and carers of children, childhood educators and childcare workers, as well as anyone considering further study in the fields of child care or public health.

Who will you learn with?

Tony Okely

Tony is Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences & Director of the Early Start Research Institute. His research interests are motor development, physical activity and obesity prevention in children

Rute Santos

I am a research fellow (University of Wollongong Australia). I have a PhD in Physical Activity and Health and my research interests cover the health-related benefits of physical activity in children.

Megan Hammersley

Megan is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong. She has an interest in the use of technology in childhood obesity prevention and treatment.

Rebecca Stanley

I am an Associate Research Fellow at the Early Start Research Institute, University of Wollongong. My research interest is in children's health behaviours and culturally appropriate interventions.

Sarah Loughran

Sarah is a research fellow and head of the sleep research laboratory at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute. Her research interests include sleep, development, and bioelectromagnetics

Dylan Cliff

A senior research fellow (Early Start Research Institute, University of Wollongong) interested in improving children's health & development through healthy levels of physical activity & screen time.

Rachel Jones

Hi I am Rachel Jones. I work at the Early Start Research Institute at the University of Wollongong. I am interested in the promotion of healthy lifestyles for young children.

Who developed the course?

The University of Wollongong is among the world’s top 20 modern universities. It routinely rates among the top Australian universities for graduate satisfaction and starting salaries.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $79 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.