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Welsh school kids taking slimming classes to get healthy

21/08/2013 Joanna
Up to 900 children in Wales have attended slimming classes in 2013 as part of a healthy eating drive. 

Authorities in the country are keen to make sure school-age children get access to the right guidance with regards nutrition and this saw 170 kids attend some kind of session run by a weight-loss club in July alone.

Speaking to BBC Wales, honorary chairman of The Child Growth Foundation Tam Fry said the country has been guilty of not starting young enough when it comes to health awareness. 

"There's a lot of emphasis on teaching children how to eat healthily in mainstream school, in primary and secondary. But actually it should begin much earlier," he added.

Figures recently released by Public Health Wales found that 28 per cent of five-year-olds are overweight, while a further 12 per cent are obese. Only 23 per cent of youngsters of this age are classified as overweight or obese in England. 

Mr Fry has backed the creation of a facility that would offer kids courses on how to manage their weight and teach them about the importance of eating healthily. However, he added it could not be considered a good idea unless the "end result is that children don't put weight back on once they come off the courses". 

Slimming World currently offers classes for 11 to 15-year olds in Wales and a spokesperson said: "The emphasis is on praising young people for healthy eating and increased physical activity and improving their self-esteem and confidence rather than weight loss."

After the publication of the Public Health Wales report in July, consultant in public health Dr Ciaran Humphreys said it is good to get a "clear picture" of the situation. He has called for a response from all sectors in society - including health, education and local communities - if children across the country are going to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801628036-ADNFCR
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