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North Wyong gets fit in healthy town challenge

North Wyong, on NSW’s Central Coast, participated in the 2018 Healthy Town Challenge and encouraged its residents to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Central Coast Local Health District Health Promotion Director Niki Kajons said North Wyong was one of five towns in NSW that participated in this year’s Challenge to create supportive environments that encourage healthy living activities for community members.

Coraki, in the NSW Richmond Valley, was the winner of this year’s Challenge.

The Healthy Town Challenge is supported by NSW Health and the Heart Foundation. It encourages small regional and rural communities with populations of between 1,000 and 15,000 people to get active and eat healthier.

“It was terrific to see the amount of enthusiasm and effort all of the five towns put into becoming healthier – particularly improving overall diet and exercise levels,” Ms Kajons said.

“This is a great example of how small changes to lifestyle – moving more and watching what you eat – can make significant positive changes to people’s health.

“The Healthy Town Challenge is just one element of the NSW Government’s comprehensive plan to support individuals and families to eat well and be active,” Ms Kajons said.

This year’s Challenge is the fourth one. The five participating towns were given an initial $15,000 grant to implement healthy initiatives, with the winning town receiving a further $5,000.

The North Wyong community has invested its $15,000 in a range of initiatives to encourage the community to be more active and foster healthier food choices, including: • Organised a weekly Parkrun in San Remo;

• Held healthy BBQ demonstrations, healthy food workshops and competitions for the community;

• Developed new healthy eating resources for the local breakfast club and food insecurity programs.

In 2018/19, NSW Health will invest $38 million to tackle obesity, $25 million of which has been allocated specifically to fight childhood obesity.

Applications are open for the NSW Healthy Town Challenge 2019. Please visit the NSW Office of Preventive Health website for more information.

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