Derry schoolchildren take part in obesity awareness training

Mrs. J Devlin's P2 class at Rosemount P.S. in Derry. The children took part in an 'Obesity Awareness' class. The event was organised by the Neighbourhood Health Improvement Project. Included from left is Roxanne Nixon (Health Development Worker BHCP/NHIP), Mrs. J Devlin, Miss T. McGinley (classroom assistant) and Margaret Cunningham (course facilitator).

Mrs. J Devlin's P2 class at Rosemount P.S. in Derry. The children took part in an 'Obesity Awareness' class. The event was organised by the Neighbourhood Health Improvement Project. Included from left is Roxanne Nixon (Health Development Worker BHCP/NHIP), Mrs. J Devlin, Miss T. McGinley (classroom assistant) and Margaret Cunningham (course facilitator).

Primary two pupils at Rosemount P.S. in Derry took part in an ‘Obesity Awareness’ event this week.

The course is entitled ‘Health Education - Obesity Awareness’ and is funded by the Neighbourhood Health Improvement Project.

In 2015, the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) estimated that 57 per cent of Irish women would be clinically obese by 2030; the figure currently stands at 23 per cent.

The W.H.O. also estimated that 48 per cent of Irish men would be classed as obese by 2030; the current figure is 26 per cent.

The ‘Obesity Awareness’ event was co-ordinated by Roxanne Nixon, Health Development Worker, Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank Community Partnership and was facilitated by local health expert, Margaret Cunningham.

“The idea for this programme came about from the Outer West Health Forum as one of our key themes is reducing the number of people who are obese or overweight,” explained Roxanne.

“When we discussed ideas we thought what better way to approach such a target than to start with children - the more preventative measures we take now the better it will be in the long-term.”

The children learned about the importance of exercise but when asked how many hours a day people should exercise one little boy replied “24”.

“It is very important that we encourage the children of today to lead a healthier lifestyle that involves eating a well balanced diet and being more physically active,” added Margaret.

Rosemount teacher, Mrs. Joan Devlin, described the ‘Obesity Awareness’ as something that would benefit all children.

“Rosemount P.S. has been a healthy eating school for a very long time and this type of event complements that ethos,” said Mrs. Devlin.

“It’s fantastic to see so many children learning about the importance of exercise and healthy eating - we also work closely with parents to let them know how they might make small changes to improve their children’s health.”

Six year-old pupils Kyrah White and Ronan Clarke, said they enjoyed taking part in the event.

“It’s great to know that we can exercise and have fun at the same time,” said Kyra.

“It’s important to exercise because we need healthy bodies,” she added.

Ronan said: “Fizzy drinks and sugary sweets are really bad for you and if you eat or drink them it’s important that you exercise too - otherwise you will get very sick.”