Tuesday, January 20, 2009

£1.4m Programme To Tackle Child Obesity Launched By Welsh Assembly Government

“The MEND [Mind, Exercise, Nutrition... Do It!] Programme which is designed to help overweight and obese children manage their weight and become fitter, healthier and happier will start being rolled out across Wales from today, Tuesday 20th January 2009. The £1.4million scheme, funded by Welsh Assembly Government, will target around 2,000 children aged between 7-13 years old and their families over the next three years. It's the first time that this type of scheme for children will have run on a national level in any country. In the UK, approximately 24% to 26% of 4 to 5 and 6 to 7 year olds are overweight.* If current UK trends continue, one fifth of boys and one third of girls will be obese by 2020.This Welsh national roll out comes when over 300 MEND Programmes are running in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland this term. Already 6,000 children across the UK have been through the MEND Programme. Families will take part in a free 10 week course with others in a similar position, combining practical learning about healthy eating - including shopping on a budget - and stimulating active enjoyment of physical activity. Rather than focusing on weight loss, the MEND Programme uses an interactive learning approach to teach parents, carers and children weight management skills. Families will also be offered follow-up contact including reunion events and telephone support. The programme - Mind, Exercise, Nutrition... Do It! or MEND for short - was devised by experts in child health at the world-renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the University College London Institute of Child Health.”


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