Frequently Asked Questions
Who can attend?
The Better Health Program is free for Perth Metropolitan families with children:
- Aged 7 - 13 years
- Above a healthy weight
- A parent or carer available to attend each session
Do I need a doctor's referral?
No, not if your child is healthy. Families can self-refer via online registration, a local call (1300 822 953) or SMS for a call back (0409 745 645). Referrals are also accepted from health professionals, organisations, friends and family members.
What if my child has other medical conditions?
If your child has any medical conditions that may affect their ability to participate in the program, you need to seek guidance from your child's GP. You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire at the start of the program to inform the program leaders of any existing medical conditions of your child.
What about siblings?
It is generally at the discretion of the local team and is usually dependent on the size of group and venue. Please discuss this with the team when they contact you.
What is the cost?
The program is free for eligible WA families to participate. It is funded under the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health and by the Western Australia Department of Health.
What happens when I register for the program?
You will receive a phone call from the centralised referral service to confirm your registration and provide you with the details of programs in your area. If you are eligible and choose to proceed, you will be booked into a program that is convenient to you. Your registration will then be provided to the local team who will contact you and provide you with the local information.
Where do programs run?
Programs run at various locations across Perth Metropolitan region. The locations and suburbs are determined by local program staff and are based on availability and demand. If there doesn't appear to be a program in your local area, you should still apply and this will be provided to the local team. If there's enough interest a program may be organised for your local area. Typical venues include school halls, council facilities, community halls and recreation facilities. Generally, all sessions are run at the same venue (except the supermarket tour).
What happens at the Better Health Program?
The program runs for 10 weeks within the school term. It's delivered once a week, for two hours, after school and includes:
- Nutrition and healthy eating (first hour): interactive discussions and activities about nutrition and healthy choices - how to read food labels, portion sizes, self-esteem and other topics.
- Physical activities and games (second hour): Fun game based activities designed to get the children interested in being physically active. Some programs involve pool based exercises and games too.
- For the second hour, while the children exercise, the parents/carers have a group based discussion with the theory leader and other parents/carers to cover topics that are relevant to parents/carers.
Is Better Health Program a diet?
The program is not a diet, it's a fun program that encourages children and their families to become fitter, healthier and happier.
What is 'above a healthy weight'?
Above a healthy weight is a body mass index (BMI) above that recommended for a child of a specific age, height and sex.
BMI is an approximate measure of the best weight for health.
Children who may be above a healthy weight for their height and age include those who:
- Wear clothes sizes for an older age group;
- Spend more than two hours watching TV or on the computer etc per day;
- Are physically active for less than one hour per day;
- Eat unbalanced meals, large portion sizes or more than one unhealthy snack per day.
To determine if your child is within the healthy weight range or above a healthy weight, enter your child's age, sex, height and weight into the BMI calculator or call 1300 822 953.
Does the program work?
Independent clinical studies show that the program has helped children who are above a healthy weight to reach a healthier weight, increase the time they spend being active, improve their fitness and raise their self-esteem. The program has been fully adapted to meet all current Australian guidelines and meets NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) recommendations for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Children.
What are the benefits of the program?
- Improved self-esteem and confidence
- Improved sporting skills and fitness
- Improved team work and communication
- Improved diet enhances concentration and mood / behaviour
- A healthier child
- BMI and waist circumference decreases
What happens after Better Health Program?
Families are given access to a website and are provided with printed support materials following completion of the program. These offer support and encourage families to maintain their new healthy changes, and inspire ongoing healthy choices. Families are also invited to a FREE catch up session 3 months after the completion of the program. During the program families are provided information on community clubs and programs available in their local area.
How can I refer a child?
A referral form is available for download below. Referral pads can be ordered for your clinic using the resource order form below or by emailing email@example.com
Please email referrals to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 1300 325 301.
How can I spread the word and promote the program in our community, school, organisation or service?
A program flyer that you can use is available for download below. Flyers and posters can be ordered using the resource order form below or by emailing email@example.com
Our team can also visit your school, organisation or service to talk to families or staff, run a short activity or have a stall at an event for example. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org