IYM Pilot

It’s Your Move ACT (IYM ACT) started as a research project from 2012 – 2014 with three active high schools using a systems approach to reducing unhealthy weight in adolescents. Interventions were designed by each school with support from Deakin University, ACT Health and the Education Directorate.

The aim

  • All three schools aimed to create healthy food and drink policies.
  • Melrose High aimed to increase the number of students who walked or rode to school.
  • Alfred Deakin High aimed to encourage students to do more exercise.
  • Calwell High aimed to improve student mental health through physical activity and nutrition.

The results

  • Decrease in overweight/obesity:

Two of the three schools had a statistically significant decrease in the percentage of students who were overweight or obese. None of the three schools showed an increase in obesity.

  • Eating more vegetables:

Two of the three schools achieved a statistically significant increase in the percentage of students who ate five or more serves of vegetables a day. 

  • Drinking more water:

All schools increased the proportion of students who drank four or more glasses of water during school time.

  • Better mental health:

Calwell High achieved their aim of improving mental health.

How did they achieve this?

Each school implemented a wide range of activities including canteen menu improvements, healthy food promotion, vegetable snacks in class, information for parents, vegetable growing at school, whole family cooking lessons, health in every subject in the school curriculum, whole community social media communication, safe riding skills lessons, improved bike storage, healthy recipes in food technology classes, healthy catering for staff and school events, girls-only fitness classes, tap water promotion and much more.

Download the Systems approach to reducing unhealthy weight in Australian adolescents: ACT “It’s Your Move!” report by Deakin University.

Find out more about some of the successful strategies in the IYM How-to Guides.