Growing Good Habits

Initiative Type
Model of Care
01 February 2018
Last updated
05 February 2019


The Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network (QCYCN) has developed Queensland’s first integrated strategic agenda tackling the prevention and management of childhood overweight and obesity. Through collaboration, they have established a sustainable, integrated governance model under the auspices of the QCYCN and through the Paediatric Obesity Working Group (POWG). The POWG provides strong leadership in this area across Queensland.

The project was highly commended in the Connecting Healthcare Category at the 2017 Queensland Health Awards for Excellence.

Key dates
Jan 2017
Dec 2017
Implementation sites
Statewide, including all Hospital and Health Services
Clinical Excellence Division, Children’s Health Queensland HHS, Preventive Health Branch and The University of Queensland.


Integrate care across the health system to improve the nutrition, health and wellbeing of Queensland children and families on the management of childhood overweight and obesity.


  • Coordinated and consistent care from a multidisciplinary team that leads to better quality care, and enhanced nutrition, health and outcomes across the Queensland health system,
  • Greater access to an integrated and coordinated model of care and support for our health practitioners
  • Single point of contact and network, bringing all stakeholders together


With more than one in four Queensland kids overweight or obese, and a high proportion of these likely to remain overweight as adults, the Growing Good Habits website aims to help families, communities, health professionals and researchers solve the problem together. By tackling childhood obesity and weight management from all angles, we want to give every child the chance of the best start in life and help prevent a range of chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and dental decay.

Solutions Implemented

The Growing Good Habits website offers tips and advice on a range of common lifestyle behaviours for children, that play a part in maintaining a healthy weight, promoting physical activity and provide practical ways to improve nutrition, including child-friendly and tasty recipes. Latest news and research on childhood obesity is also available. There’s a dedicated health professionals portal which has been developed in collaboration with the Preventive Health Branch. This section provides an online hub for the most up-to-date and evidence-based information, resources and tools, and research for health practitioners.

Evaluation and Results

  • Multisite clinics at LCCH and Ipswich community – 11 clinics/month; approximately 80 patients booked per month.
  • In the 2016/2017 Financial Year - 342 families were seen (including 146 were new to the service)


Outcomes from clinic evaluations:

  • 72 per cent of participants attending the service were classified as morbidly obese, highlighting the need for early referral processes within the healthcare system to ensure timely management for these children and adolescents
  • At baseline, measures of diet, physical activity and quality of life were lowest in adolescents. This once again supports the need for timely referral as well as individualised support, which is how the current clinics operate.
  • Outcomes from participants who have completed the clinic are promising, with clinically meaningful reductions in BMI z-score apparent

Outcomes from the Healthy Drinks project: 

  • There is no seasonal differences in drinks sales of any category (green, amber or red)
  • Both staff and visitors are supportive of the changes implemented by the ‘Healthier Drinks at Healthcare Facilities: CHQ Obesity Strategy’
  • A reduction in the number of red drinks for sale alone may not be enough to change consumer purchasing behaviours.

Lessons Learnt

Growing Good Habits is an integrated, collaborative approach to address childhood overweight and obesity in Queensland. A strong partnership is key to its impact and success, producing a clear, collaborative, inclusive and sustainability agenda. 

Bringing together all aspects of the health continuum, from the strong health prevention role of the Preventive Health Branch, the clinical expertise of Children’s Health Queensland, the influence and drive of the Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Networks, and academic support and agenda from University of Queensland, a strong identify and reputation has developed.

The website is all about making positive changes to children’s eating, drinking and physical activity habits today to put them on track for a healthier tomorrow. Every small change can make a difference towards a healthier lifestyle and give children the best possible start in life. 

Further Reading

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Key contact

Kate Weller
Network Coordinator
Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network
(07) 3069 7117