Obesity in kids target of new health campaign

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Staff at the Western Trust are backing a major new drive to tackle obesity in children.

The Trust’s Health Improvement, Equality and Involvement Department in partnership with the Public Health Agency are supporting the Safefood’s ‘START’ campaign.

The campaign will offer practical advice to tackle everyday habits associated with excess weight in children, support parenting and encourage consistency to make small changes to adopt and sustain a healthier lifestyle.

The key messages promoted through the new campaign include: Replace sugary drinks; Make being active fun; More sleep and less screen time; Reduce portion sizes, and Manage treats.

The World Health Organization regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century.

Children and adolescents who are obese are at an increased risk of developing various health problems, and more likely to become obese adults. The Foresight report (2007) revealed that “unless something is done now to tackle childhood obesity and help people to live healthier, by 2050 two thirds of children in the UK will be above a healthy weight”. It is estimated that one in four children on the island of Ireland are overweight or obese.

For further information contact: Health Improvement, Equality and Involvement Department on 028 7186 5127 or health.improvement@westerntrust.hscni.net.