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School staff urged to co-operate in fight against childhood obesity

06/04/2009 Joanna
School staff should co-operate with professionals in relevant fields to help bring down rates of childhood obesity, it has been argued.

Both those in teaching jobs and school nurses should be assisting in tackling this rising problem, stated Anna Groom, specialist paediatric dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association.

She suggested that they "should feel confident enough to raise the issue of weight, but then refer onto outside health agencies to provide individual support to specified families".

Furthermore, stated Ms Groom, school staff should encourage pupils to exercise outside of school as part of everyday activities, such as walking to school.

These actions, she said, will complement the introduction of healthy school meal standards for pupils across the country and in turn help reduce weight problems among schoolchildren.

The 2007-08 National Child Measurement Programme, produced by the Department of Health, indicated that almost one in four reception children weighed was either obese or overweight.

This figure rose to nearly one in three for the year six children who were weighed.
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