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Volunteers wanted for healthy lifestyle programme to reduce obesity

Obesity is lower than the national average in Ealing in children aged five, but well above the national average at age eleven

Volunteers are wanted to protect infants from obesity in Ealing through a tried and tested intervention programme.

According to the latest figures from the National Child Measurement Programme, more than one in five children in Ealing is overweight or obese (22.4%) by the time they reach reception age (five-years-old) compared to the national average of 22.5%.

However, by the time they reach year six (10 to 11-years-old) a greater proportion of children are overweight or obese compared to the national average - 38.3% compared to 33.5%.

The Department of Health’s Health & Social Care Volunteering Fund has funded HENRY (Health Exercise Nutrition for the Really Young) and parental support charity Family Lives to deliver an evidence-based programme throughout the borough that has been shown to improve health related outcomes for the very young.

They are now seeking volunteers to work directly with families to deliver these programmes which have been shown to improve the health of participating families.

Volunteers able to commit to working with families for at least three hours per week will receive five days training to become healthy start mentors.

The eight-week one-to-one intervention works in partnership with families and those with children under five can self-refer onto the scheme.

All parents who join will receive a healthy start toolkit and will be supported to come up with their own healthy lifestyle goals and strategies to achieve them over several weeks.

Kim Roberts, Chief Executive of HENRY, said: "This is a really exciting project where we will be able to support families to give their young children a healthy start through trained volunteers from within their own community."

Prospective volunteers and participating families should contact: Kassandra Gordon email: kassandra.gordon@henry.org.uk or phone 07591 212749.

Child obesity is a growing problem which has led to the rise of health issues like diabetes type II in children, previously considered an adult disease.

The emotional consequences of obesity in childhood can be severe and long-lasting, including bullying, low self-esteem and social exclusion

Research shows 80% of obese children will go on to be obese adults. Adult Obesity is associated with lower life expectancy, chronic conditions like coronary heart disease and cancer.

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