Thousands of pounds is being invested into a scheme to help fight the flab on Derbyshire’s youngsters.
Derbyshire County Council is to award £44,200 to the HENRY programme – Health, Exercise, Nutrition for the Really Young – to continue for another year.
According to the latest National Child Measurement Programme figures obesity rates are lower in Derbyshire compared to England which supports the council’s case for ongoing investment.
The programme supports parents to provide a healthy start for babies and children aged up to five focusing on family lifestyle and habits, exercise and activity, nutrition, emotional wellbeing and their parenting skills. It includes:
• Training for frontline staff to tackle complex and sensitive lifestyle issues with parents and carers
• Targeted one-to-one support for families of children at risk of obesity or who are already overweight
• Parent-led peer support schemes to help promote healthy family lifestyles in local communities
• Eight-week training programmes for parents and carers in disadvantaged communities where obesity levels are highest
Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for health and communities Councillor Dave Allen said: “We’re pleased to be able to continue funding this important preventative programme to give young children the best possible start in life. If these problems are not tackled early on there is a serious risk of them developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers in later life.
“There’s also a link between obesity and decreasing levels of educational attainment due to issues like bullying, low self-esteem and less time spent doing physical activities with friends.
“We target HENRY at vulnerable families where obesity levels are highest and opportunities for healthy eating and activity are fewer in line with our commitment to tackling health inequalities. Continuing this programme will support that valuable work.”
The county is on track to achieve a target minimum of 220 health and early years staff completing their HENRY training by next month.
Sessions will run across the county in areas of highest childhood obesity.