History – How it Started

SEA Change Portland was established back in 2014, when it was identified that overweight and obesity levels in the region were higher than the national average. Data revealed that only 13% of children were meeting the guidelines for vegetable consumption, and 31.6% did not meet the physical activity guidelines.

Prompted by this data, a joint project (SEA Change Portland) was launched between Deakin University’s Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE) and the Portland community. SEA Change is a long-term, community-led initiative with the aim of identifying and addressing the causes of obesity, developing sustainable and local choices, to ultimately Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice’.

Utilising Deakin’s world-first local monitoring system, we were able to collect accurate data on the weight and health status of the children in the region. This included measuring height and weights, a health behaviour questionnaire, and measuring physical activity with an accelerometer.

Systems Thinking

Early on, a mind map was developed in consultation with the community using Systems Thinking in Knowledge Exchange (STICKE) software. This allowed the community to define the problem of childhood obesity in the region, identify the drivers of the problem in their community, and then design actions to make the environment healthier for everyone, especially children.

(Click on the image to see the map in full)

The Data

This infographic shows the changes in behaviour and weight in Portland children from 2015 – 2017.

  • Physical activity levels went up
  • Sugary drink consumption went down
  • Active transport went up
  • BMIs went down
  • Fruit and vegetable consumption went up
  • Take away consumption went up

This infographic provides a snapshot of the health of Portland children in 2019, covering areas such as BMI, physical activity, screen time, fruit and vegetable consumption, active transport, water consumption, sugary drinks, take away, and packaged foods.


WHO STOPS Childhood Obesity
Deakin Case Study SEA Change Portland


Four-Year Behavioural, Health-Related Quality of Life, and BMI Outcomes From a Cluster Randomized Whole of Systems Trial of Prevention Strategies for Childhood Obesity

Preventing Childhood Obesity – A Community Approach

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