An international forum in Canberra will address childhood obesity with the hope the nation's capital will become a trial site to implement the findings.
The Shaping Spaces for Gen Z forum will be held at the University of Canberra in March. The forum will focus on who is responsible for childhood health, and research findings which show emotional intelligence and outdoor play are fundamental for healthy children.
University of Canberra professor of public health Tom Cochrane said the main aim was to focus on collective responsibility.
He said it wasn't up to parents, schools or governments individually.
"We should look at societal solutions for the problem, how we can work together collectively," Professor Cochrane said.
He said the forum was partly international, with one of the three presenters from Yale University, but it was really focused on the capital.
"It's really a Canberra thing because we believe Canberra has a real chance of getting their collective act together and doing something about the issue."
Yale Child Study Centre associate research scientist Tong Liu will present on the fundamental importance of emotional learning for childhood health and how to implement activities to address it.
Dr Liu's research approach, called RULER, has been implemented in other western nations and is set to be adopted in Chinese schools this year.
RULER stands for recognising, understanding, labelling, expressing and regulating emotions.
"We'd all be a little healthier and happier if we were more skilled at regulating feelings," is the concluding sentence in Dr Liu's presentation.
Fitness is not a major worry for Sara Norgate and her twin boys James and Lewis Gunn.
She said the boys regularly visited their local park and used their imagination at the playground.
"They just love running around, trying all the equipment and they like to role play, so the playground is good for that."
Forum organiser and Urban Synergies Group founder and director Gregor Mews will present on the importance of urban design for public health.
He said the health condition of Australian children was at a crisis point.
The forum was "part of our collaborative commitment to shed light on an important societal issue, that cannot continue to be ignored".
"From our own data gathered since 2000, 69 per cent of primary school children in the ACT are of low general fitness and one in four are classified as over a healthy weight," Mr Mews said.
He said a lack of gross motor skills was a serious concern, a result of children not been afforded the opportunity to explore and engage in risky experiences.
"In our society the perception of risk has shifted. The ACT government is aware of this and is committed to address this issue. Many non-government organisations are doing their very best to reverse this health crisis."
A spokeswoman for the government said obesity was the biggest preventable health challenge in the ACT. A preventative health strategy is being developed, and a preventative health co-ordinator will be appointed this year, delivering on an election commitment.
In addition, the government has implemented numerous initiatives, including research-backed playgrounds featuring "nature play" spaces and the Active Streets for Schools program which aims to encourage children to ride or walk to school.
Professor Cochrane said these concepts were key to getting children active again. He said if everyone jumped on board with them, they would go "a long way to improving the situation".