AJEC Vol. 42 No. 1 – Supported playgroups for health promotion activity for healthy eating and active living: A social ecological perspective



Beverley Lloyd
Kym M. Buffett
Christine Innes-Hughes
NSW Office of Preventive Health

Libby Powell
Health Promotion Service, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

Dianne Jackson
Jing Qi
University of Western Sydney

Childhood overweight problems and obesity is a significant problem in Australia, with
19 per cent of children commencing kindergarten either overweight or obese. The issue is
increasingly recognised within both health promotion and the early childhood education and
care sectors. The purpose of this paper is to identify a health promotion approach appropriate
for supported playgroups—facilitated playgroups targeting vulnerable families. Primary
research included individual interviews with managers, facilitators and parents/carers and
observations within four non-specialist supported playgroups in urban and regional locations
in NSW. Our findings show that supported playgroups lend themselves to the integration of
healthy eating and active play with current practice, building on the existing methods and
strengths of supported playgroups rather than additional intensive programming. They provide
a ‘soft entry’ vehicle to deliver a health promoting environment, play-based learning activities
for children and context-specific participatory and implicit learning for parents and carers.

SKU: AJEC1701_13 Category: