App addressing childhood obesity in regional Victoria

Oxil Challenger Participants

Australian tech company, Oxil has officially launched the Challenger App and jumped into the deep end from the get-go by including over 1000 students in South West Victoria.

The simple to use app was developed with the purpose of improving health and wellbeing of adolescent children by enabling them to track food intake, level of activity and potentially, break bad habits.

“Most health apps focus on either nutrition, fitness or mental health – but not on all three. We wanted to give students the ability for instant and accurate feedback about what’s going on in their body,” said Archie Whiting, Managing Director of Oxil.

The ‘Challenge’ aspect comes in the form of competitions where users can challenge friends or family using the app, reaping rewards and points for newly acquired good habits.

Prior to its official launch, a local focus group in Hamilton were given a special trial to test the Challenger App to reduce childhood obesity and improve the overall well-being in adolescents’ aged 10 -16 in their schools.

Dubbed “The Greater Hamilton Challenge’ it involves 6 regional schools and 1000 students with the one goal – to tackle the alarming obesity issue common to this particular part of Victoria.

A 2015 Deakin Report suggested that across five shires of Victoria’s Great South Coast, including Southern Grampian Shire, 37% of boys and 38% of girls in grade 6 were overweight or obese.

Additional research out of Deakin University and GenR8Change suggests up to 50% of primary school-aged children are overweight and/or are obese.

“Sugar is the new tobacco. Our children’s health is at risk and the experts are telling us that this could be the first generation to experience a shorter lifespan than generations before,’ says Dr. Andrew Hirst, Principal of The Hamilton and Alexandra College.

All participants were pleased with the final results with one of the school captains chanting at a school assembly: “Keep swiping, keep eating. Stop typing, start meeting.”

What makes the Challenger App highly engaging is the use of modern technologies, such as Gesture-based surveying, Machine learning for identifying habits, Intuitive & Suggestive algorithms, and Instant Feedback to the students so they can learn about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Oxil is now officially inviting other regions to the challenge, visit challenger.oxil.io to register for early access.