Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the UK and Lancashire’s health and wellbeing provider is raising awareness of the dangers of being above a healthy weight during childhood.
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has been working to spread the message that healthy eating and regular exercise both have important roles to play when it comes to children maintaining a healthy weight. The service has been promoting the Change4Life campaign which identifies a set of realistic and achievable behaviours such as sugar swaps, having ‘me size meals’ and 60 active minutes a day.
Judith Mace, Head of the Health Improvement Service at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Being overweight during childhood can have a serious impact on both long-term and short-term health. Obese children can suffer from poor sleep patterns, raised blood pressure and asthma or other respiratory problems very early on in their lives.
“It’s really important to recognise that obesity is a serious problem which needs to be tackled. We’re asking parents to try new things with their children such as cooking healthy meals or exercising more.
“The summer holidays are a great opportunity for families to engage in some physical activity as children and young people are missing out on the regular physical activities provided in school. There’s so much that can be done completely free of charge too.”
The Change4Life website has some great suggestions for families and even has a ‘fun generator’ which allows parents to look at games for children and their friends. This can be accessed by visiting www.nhs.uk/change4life and clicking on the ‘move more’ tab.
If you're concerned that your child might be overweight or underweight, speak to your GP, school nurse or health visitor in the first instance.