Nearly 150 children complete 'fat camp'

NEARLY 150 children in Suffolk have successfully completed a nine-week NHS-led “fat camp” course since it was introduced two years ago.

Russell Claydon

NEARLY 150 children in Suffolk have successfully completed a nine-week NHS-led “fat camp” course since it was introduced two years ago.

The health programme is attempting to turn the tide of obese children in Suffolk by educating 7-11-year-olds in everything from reading food labels for nutrition information, boosting self esteem to the importance of exercise.

One in 14 children in Suffolk are currently obese, according to information compiled from GPs in the county. But health bosses are hoping a new recruitment drive for the Mind, Exercise, Nutrition and Do It campaign (MEND), will continue to make inroads into the figure.


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The nine-week courses are now getting under way in Ipswich, Great Cornard, Saxmundham, Haverhill and Felixstowe, with teaching material covering exercise, nutrition and health benefits for the mind.

Linda Paterson, MEND project co-ordinator for Suffolk, said she hoped they could quickly add to the 145 children who have already completed the programme.

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“The course offers a great opportunity for children to learn about the importance of their own health and wellbeing in a fun way,” she said. “Parents wishing to find out more about the programme are encouraged to get in touch.”

Sally Hogg, head of health improvement at NHS Suffolk, told the EADT last month there was currently a “real chance” parents would start outliving their children due to their seriously unhealthy lifestyles.

She revealed that last year one in three children in the county was either overweight or obese - in line with the rest of the country - and said urgent action was needed to address the problem.

It comes as Labour announced at their party conference that healthy school meals could be made free to every primary school pupil in the country, if a pilot of the scheme is successful.

Any parents that are interested in finding out more information about registering their children on

the MEND programme should call Linda on 01473 770007.

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