New year 20-week courses to stem rise of obese children and families

PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 December 2010

A NEW course to help overweight and obese children as young as seven is set to start in Weston in the new year.

North Somerset Council has released details about the MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition... Do it!) programme for specific youngsters and their families.

Groups will be able to learn about nutrition and how to manage children’s weight and lead healthier lives.

The course is aimed at youngsters aged seven to 13, whose weight is above the healthy range for their age and height.

It will run once a week after school in two-hour sessions over 20 weeks. Initially the programmes will run in Weston and Clevedon, with others planned for North Somerset later next year.

A spokesman for MEND said: ”MEND provides programmes, services and resources to help children and families learn how to improve their health, fitness and the way they feel about their bodies.

“All of these elements help families manage their weight better and lead healthier lives, contributing to national and international efforts to prevent and treat those overweight and obesity in children.”

Established in 2004, the MEND programme was devised at the world-renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the University College London Institute of Child Health.

It works with councils and other partners to deliver more than 400 courses across the world, which have benefitted more than 15,000 families to date.

The Weston and Clevedon courses will also teaches some ‘mind tricks’ to help keep up motivation.

To find out more about the free course or to register an interest contact Xanne Blythe on 01934 422000 or xab@broadoak.n-somerset.sch.uk or Pippa Gribben on 01275 879727.

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