Are children in Somerset obese?

FIGURES to show whether children in the Cheddar area are obese will be revealed later this month. The Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) has been collecting data across the county by weighing youngsters in schools.

FIGURES which will show whether children in the Cheddar area are obese will be revealed later this month.

The Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) has been collecting data across the county by weighing youngsters in schools.

When the figures are released at the end of September, the PCT and Somerset County Council will decide which areas need targeting in a scheme to reduce the number of overweight children.

A spokesman for the council said: “We already encourage kids to be active in school with our Do Activity Stay Healthy’ scheme, known as DASH. The aim is to get youngsters doing more physical activities in the school, but obviously the problems don’t end there.


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“Children only spend a third of their day at school, so we also need to make it clear to parents that obese children lead to overweight adults who suffer from heart problems, live unhealthy lives and ultimately die earlier.

“We are seeing an increasing number of obese children because they are not eating healthy food and not doing enough exercise.

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“Around half the kids in Somerset are fine, but it is the other half we really need to worry about.”

The authority is also looking into improving school dinners and hopes a range of nutritional foods will be available in all primary schools by September 2008 and all secondary schools by September 2009.

A council spokesman said: “Part of eating healthily is eating decent hot meals in schools. Of the county’s nine middle schools, seven of them are able to offer this service, including Hugh Sexey Middle School in Blackford and Fairlands Middle School in Cheddar.”

Two papers on obesity levels and school food were presented to the council’s Health Scrutiny Sub Committee on Monday. The committee will meet again in October after the PCT’s latest figures have been released.

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