Objectives: Addressing the high prevalence of overweight and obesity and unhealthy lifestyles among New South Wales (NSW) (the most populous state in Australia) youth is a government priority. The primary aim of the NSW Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS 2010; n = 8058) was to monitor progress towards the NSW State Plan and State Health Plan priorities and targets for child obesity. Design: SPANS 2010 is the third in a series of NSW cross sectional representative population survey of school children in Kindergarten, Grades 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. Method: SPANS 2010 was conducted in schools in February–April 2010 (summer school term). The survey comprises measures of weight status (anthropometry) and weight related behaviours including the assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness, fundamental movement skills and questionnaires asking about diet habits and patterns, sedentary behaviours, school travel and physical activity. Parents of students in Kindergarten Grades 2 and 4 proxy-reported for their child and students in Grades 6, 8 and 10 self reported. Conclusions: This paper describes the survey methods of SPANS 2010. Survey information will be used to guide policies and interventions which promote healthy weight and lifestyles among young people, and to monitor the overall impact of recent interventions and policies.
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