The Nepean Family Obesity Service (NFOS) was established in early 2017 to address the rising rates of childhood and adult obesity in the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD). The NBMLHD has one of the highest rates of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes-related hospitalisations with 60% of adults in the LHD being overweight and obese (Wentworth Healthcare PHN and the Committee for Sydney 2017).
The NFOS utilises a novel multidisciplinary Family model of care that includes clinics spanning the whole lifespan:
a) Early pregnancy (OPAL)
b) Childhood and adolescent (Kids Fit 4 Future)
c) Young adult (Pre-conception) and
d) Adult “Healthy Weight”, including clients with BMI >55kg/m2.
Family members of clients referred to the NFOS with severe obesity, including children, siblings and parents, are all encouraged to obtain a co-referral from their GP. The NFOS team includes expertise in obstetrics, paediatric and adult endocrinology and diabetes, nursing midwifery and diabetes education, nutrition and dietetics, clinical psychology, physiotherapy and administration with research support from the Nepean CPC Research Hub and in collaboration with the Wentworth Healthcare PHN.
Clinic environments are sensitive to the needs of our clients, including appropriately sized chairs and bariatric examination beds. We have begun evidence-based individual and adult group programs to deliver the service. Where appropriate, the service utilises the NSW Health “Get Healthy” coaching service (for 16yrs and above) and the Go4Fun Ⓡ Program (age 7-13 yrs) delivered locally by accredited NFOS team members.
The Nepean FOS is a unique model of Family-based care that encompasses the whole lifespan. Ongoing analysis of the service’s outcomes utilising a "Research into Practice" model of care is paramount to its long-term success and achieving the service's overall aim to improve the health and well-being of its clients while avoiding team “burnout” in its staff. Adolescent-specific programs remain challenging.