Western sydney community forum: Healthy children for a healthy future – Type 2 diabetes and weight in adolescents

happy kid eating cotton candy
Photo by Mariana Kurnyk on Pexels.com

Almost two-thirds of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, excess weight is responsible for 7200 deaths each year in Australia and obesity costs the Australian economy $38 billion a year, through more than four million days lost from work, over $1 billion in medical costs, as well as the cost of premature death.

In collaboration with Western Sydney Diabetes, (an initiative of Western Sydney Local Health District), community group Healthy Living Toongabbie (HLT) is holding an online forum, Healthy Children for a Healthy Future: Let’s Talk with the Experts!’ , on Thursday 7 July to address concerns with weight in young people. 

Diabetes is no longer an age-related condition,” said HLT President Dr Shanthini Seelan.

“It’s now becoming more common in adolescents and the middle age groups and the risk of complications are much higher due to the early onset.

“If we are to tackle the multiple chronic diseases that will result from being overweight and obese – it’s best to start as early as possible.” 

HLT is a community-based organisation formed four years ago by a group of passionate Toongabbie health practitioners, business people and residents and is dedicated to educating the community about diabetes, pre-diabetes and healthier food options.

Event expert panelists and topic areas include:

Associate Professor Gary Leong is also the author of award-winning book Ride to Life: a no-nonsense program for breaking your family’s cycle of obesity and connecting to a healthier, happier life.

Is your child overweight and at risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease of other complications?
Associate professor Gary Leong: is a senior paediatric endocrinologist and clinical paediatric lead of the Paediatric Diabetes and the Nepean Blue Mountains Metabolic Health Services, Nepean Hospital. Kingswood and Charles Perkins Centre, Nepean Research Hub, The University of Sydney.

Paradigm shift of healthy eating in children and parental role: dietitian perspective
Simran Grover: accredited practising dietitian, accredited nutritionist and credentialed diabetes educator.

Challenges in GP land in addressing childhood obesity
Dr Thava Seelan: HLT member and gp at Bridgeview Medical Centre, Toongabbie.

Taking healthy steps: what meaningful actions can we do today?
Dean Paningbatan: Paediatric diabetes dietitian at Institute of Diabetes & Endocrinology, The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, Westmead and accredited sports dietitian and exercise physiologist.

There will also be a Q&A panel discussion joined by The Hills Mayor Dr Peter Gangemi and a representative from Cumberland Council.

“The forum is an exciting opportunity that will provide the foundations to support our younger generation on their health journey and hopefully turn the tide on the obesity crisis facing western Sydney,” said Mayor Gangemi.

“Let’s start the conversation today and take the steps to a healthier future.”

Event Details:
Date: Thursday 7 July
Time: 6.30pm-8pm
Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/healthylivingtoongabbie/
Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83408070468?pwd=Uy9JaW9PQStMZDc1cTBOL3QxOEdZQT0 | Passcode: 470962

For more information, visit www.healthylivingtoongabbie.org