KIDS in 11 areas around England have been targeted for extra help in shifting the pounds – as part of the Government’s war on obesity.
The local authorities have been chosen to trial weight-loss pilots on 6,000 children due to the level of overweight youngsters there.
They are Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Enfield, Hounslow and Waltham Forest, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bradford, Tameside, Sandwell and Kingston Upon Hull.
Each spot is getting a share of £4.3 million for “expanded child weight management services”.
It is part of big plans to tackle obesity – which began by cracking down on junk food ads – and will see services rolled out across England to help adults and kids.
The NHS Digital Weight Management Programme has launched today, backed by £12 million in Government funding.
It will offer free online support via GP and primary care teams referrals for adults living with obesity, to help manage their weight and improve their health.
Alongside this, £30 million is being given to councils so residents can sign up for help keeping their weight down – in a bid to slim down the nation.
In most areas, services will include 12-week sessions, with dietary advice, physical activity guidance and support to help people start and maintain healthier habits.
Last month Ministers announced a huge push to improve the overall health of Brits in the wake of Covid – with the aim to prevent problems before they emerge.
NIP IT IN THE BUD
One in six adults and more than one in three kids aged ten to 11 are overweight – with obesity a large risk factor in fighting the virus.
Obesity is linked to a reduction in life expectancy and is a risk factor for lots of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cancers and mental health issues.
Public Health Minister, Jo Churchill said: “We want to make the healthier option the easy option, but we still know losing weight can be difficult for people.
“Making sure the right support is available means that we can help individuals make the most of the positive impact that reaching a healthier weight can have both physically and mentally. The benefit is theirs.”
Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England said: “Many of us have struggled throughout the pandemic and lockdowns to keep the pounds off and maintain a healthy weight.
“It’s vital that everyone can get support to lose weight if they need it, so it’s particularly timely and hugely welcome to see these new services opening.
“The causes of obesity are linked to the places where we live, work and play, where all too often the food on offer and built environment can make it harder to choose the healthier options.
“That’s why Public Health England are also working with local authorities to help make local environments healthier and provide weight management support as part of the Government’s wider national obesity strategy.”