Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can attend?

The Better Health Program is a free program for children who are 7 to 13 years old and above a healthy weight, and their families.

Parents and carers play an important role in the program and must participate in all sessions.

Do I need a doctor's referral?

No, you do not need a doctors referral to sign up. Families can self-refer by:

> Filling in a registration form online at betterhealthprogram.org

> Calling the Better Health team on 1300 822 953

> SMS for a call back by texting 0409 745 645

Whilst a referral is not required, if your child has a complicated medical condition we may ask for medical clearance before they’re able to participate in the program.

We welcome referrals from health professionals and community organisations.Health professionals can find out more on referring to the Better Health Program on our Health Professionals page.

What if my child has a medical condition?

If your child has any medical conditions that may affect their ability to participate in the program, we recommend that you seek guidance from your child's doctor or health professional. You will also be required to complete a medical questionnaire for your child at the start of the program to inform the program leaders of any existing medical conditions, in some cases we may request a medical clearance before you start the program.

What about siblings?

Siblings are welcome at the discretion of the program team and usually depends on the size of group and venue. Please discuss this with the team when you speak with them.

What is the cost?

The Better Health Program is free for all eligible families. In Perth, the program is funded by the Western Australia Department of Health.

What happens when I register for the program?

You can register by:

> Filling in a registration form online at betterhealthprogram.org

> Calling the Better Health team on 1300 822 953

> SMS for a call back by texting 0409 745 645

When you register online, you will receive a phone call from the Better Health team to discuss the details of programs in your area and book you into a program that is convenient to you.

Once you are booked in, your registration will be sent to the local team. They will contact you to confirm your registration and program details before the term starts.

If we can’t find a suitable program for you, the Better Health Program Online might be an option for your family.

When can I start?

The Better Health Program has four intakes a year and runs inline with the school term. You can register at any time for the start of a new term. Once a program has started, registrations will remain open until the end of the second week of term (unless all places have already been filled).

Where do programs run?

Programs run in various locations every school term. Venue types include council facilities and leisure centres, community halls, recreation facilities or school halls.

If we don’t have a program in your local area, you can still apply as there may be a new program coming up soon. Alternatively, you might be interested in the online version of the Better Health Program where sessions and activities are completed at home, online and over the phone. You can register for the online version of the program via the Sign Up link.

What happens at the Better Health Program?

Families attend a 2 hour session once a week for 10 weeks, outside of school hours. Every session includes:

First hour: For children and their parents/carers - Nutrition and healthy eating Interactive discussions and activities about nutrition and making healthy choices - how to read food labels, portion sizes, fats and sugars, self-esteem and other topics.

Second hour: For children only - Physical activities and games. Fun game based exercise designed to get the children interested in being physically active. Some programs involve trampoline or pool based activities.

Second hour: For parents/carers - Group based discussion. Covers topics such as behaviour change and goal setting, a time for parents/carers to ask questions and obtain further support and guidance on the program.

Is this a diet?

The Better Health Program is not a diet or boot camp, it's a fun program that encourages children and their families to develop a healthier lifestyle. The program content meets all current Australian government guidelines for children and families.

What is 'above a healthy weight'?

‘Above a healthy weight’ is the term used for when a child’s body mass index (BMI) is higher than is considered healthy for their age and gender. In other settings this might be referred to as ‘overweight’.

What is considered ‘healthy’ will be different for all children, depending on their age, gender and height, however it is generally recommended that children remain within a healthy weight range for their age and gender.

To work out if your child is within a healthy weight range or above a healthy weight, visit our website’s BMI calculator or call 1300 822 953.

Does the program work?

Independent clinical studies show that the Better Health Program has helped children who are above a healthy weight with reaching a healthier weight, improving their fitness and raising their self-esteem. The program meets all current Australian guidelines and NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) recommendations for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Children.

What are the benefits of the program?

Benefits of the Better Health Program include:

> Improved self-esteem and confidence

> Increase in physical activity and fitness levels

> Improved diet and ability to make healthy food choices

> Decrease in BMI and waist circumference

> Better teamwork and communication skills

I am a health professional, how can I refer a child?

Referring a patient to the program is simple and can be the motivation a family needs to register. A referral form is available for download using the link below. Referral pads can also be ordered for your clinic using the resource order form below or by emailing program@betterhealthcompany.org

Please email referrals to program@betterhealthcompany.org or fax to 1300 325 301. Alternatively you can also call us on 1300 822 953 to make a referral or for further information.

How can I promote the program in our community, school, organisation or service?

Thank you for your interest in promoting the Better Health Program! A program flyer that you can use is available for download in the link below. Flyers and posters can also be ordered using the resource order form below or by emailing program@betterhealthcompany.org

Our team can also visit your school, organisation or service to talk to families or staff, run a short activity or host a stall at an event.. To find out more please email program@betterhealthcompany.org or call 1300 822 953.

Who are the Better Health Company?

Better Health Company works with local, state and federal government agencies, local community organisations and private enterprises to provide innovative and unique solutions designed to support healthy lifestyle behaviours. Our peer reviewed, published and evidenced based programs include weight management programs for children and adults; healthy lifestyle programs for toddlers, healthy eating and behaviour management workshops for families of young children and healthy living programs for adults based in local communities and in workplaces. The Better Health Company works exclusively with experienced health professionals in the fields of dietetics, nutrition, psychology and exercise science to ensure that all our programs, training programs, resources and data management services are informed by current guidelines and evidence.

To find out more about the Better Health Company go to betterhealthcompany.org

Contact us

Our team is on hand to help Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am to 5pm AEST.