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NHS warning if children are overweight

PUBLISHED: 10:23 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:09 01 August 2010

PARENTS of children in the Waveney area are to be told by the NHS if their children are overweight or obese.

NHS Yarmouth and Waveney will be writing to all families of pupils aged 10-11 with the results of height and weight tests carried out last month to help reduce the growing number of bulging waistlines among youngsters.

PARENTS of children in the Waveney area are to be told by the NHS if their children are overweight or obese.

NHS Yarmouth and Waveney will be writing to all families of pupils aged 10-11 with the results of height and weight tests carried out last month to help reduce the growing number of bulging waistlines among youngsters.

In Waveney and Yarmouth, nearly one in five year six children - 19.6pc - was classed as being obese in 2008 and 12.8pc were recorded as being overweight.

It is hoped that if parents are told their child is overweight or obese, it will encourage them to lead healthier and more active lifestyles to help prevent them getting diabetes and cancer. Research shows that many parents think their children are not overweight - with only 10pc admitting their child is obese or overweight.

Once the letters are sent out to every family in the next few weeks, it is hoped some will sign up to NHS healthy eating and lifestyle courses, such as Mind, Exercise, Nutrition... Do It and Activ8 It Plus, or decide to improve their diets and take part in more activities themselves.

Marisa Fox, team leader of NHS Yarmouth and Waveney's school nursing team, said: “Giving parents information about their child's measurements is really important.

“It can help raise their awareness of potential problems so that they can take positive steps to change their lifestyles.

“A huge range of help is available both in and out of school. We would urge parents who are interested in accessing these initiatives, which include sports and activity clubs, to ask their school nurse for more information.”

The children's weights and heights were taken as part of the National Child Measurement Programme which is designed to help plan and deliver children's health care.

Dr Alistair Lipp, NHS Yarmouth and Waveney's director of public health, said: “We are committed to supporting families to help children move towards a healthy weight as being overweight seriously damages people's health.

“In children this can lead to major problems later in life, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

“Changing our behaviour and the way we live our lives is not easy - but there is plenty of support available to help families do just that. We have a number of initiatives in place to enc-ourage healthy eating and exercise, all of which are free and can make a real difference. Some of these are tailored towards children and have proven to work extremely well.”

To contact the NHS Yarmouth and Waveney healthy life team, call 01493 859205 or e-mail gym-pct.healthylife@nhs.net

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