Class to fight childhood obesity in Fenland

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Free child weight management programmes which could help to tackle Fenland’s rising obesity problem get underway in the New Year.

ChangePoint are launching sessions in January in Wisbech and Chatteris, where shocking figures for one area revealed the number of overweight children more than doubles between the beginning and end of primary school.

As reported in the Fenland Citizen last month, a survey by Government agency Public Health England (PHE) showed almost half the youngsters in Year 6 in the Slade Lode ward, just north of Chatteris, have high Body Mass Index (BMI) readings – a total of 45.5 per cent – compared to 20.2 per cent of reception children.

The nationwide survey looked at obesity levels by electoral ward and the difference between those starting primary school at age four to five, and those leaving at age 10 and 11.

The average percentage of overweight 10 and 11-year-olds was 31.6 per cent. The lowest rates were below 10 ten per cent, and the highest was a ward in Dover, Kent, where it was 56.4 per cent.

Waterlees in Wisbech and the March West ward came in at 37.9 and 29.5 per cent respectively.

In a bid to improve youngster’s health, ChangePoint are starting free Healthy Family sessions for children aged from seven to 11-years-old, and their parents and carers.

The 10-week programmes begin at the Rosmini Centre in Wisbech from January 12, and the Children’s Centre in Chatteris from January 13.

Both sessions are held weekly from 4pm to 5.30pm.

Fiona Poignand, lifestyle locality manager for Everyone Health, which runs ChangePoint, said: “The fun and interactive sessions include games and activities for the children, as well as expert advice and helpful tips from qualified dietitians and physical activity specialists to help parents, and the whole family, feel better from being healthier.”

Free weight management sessions for adults are also starting in March on January 8.

They will be held every Friday for 12 weeks between 11am and 12.30pm at St Peter’s Church hall.

For more information on the sessions, contact ChangePoint on 0333 005 0093 or email: changepointcambs@everyonehealth.co.uk