Free help for overweight kids to shed the pounds

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TIME is running out for overweight youngsters in Hucknall to sign up for a free healthy-lifestyles programme.

The latest Mind Exercise Nutrition.....Do it! (MEND) scheme is starting up at Edgewood Leisure Centre, off Christchurch Road in the town, on Monday January 31.

It specialises in helping children aged between seven and 13 shed the pounds and become more active with the support of their families.

Ordinarily, the ten-week programme costs £400. But with the help of funding from the Big Lottery, a limited number of places are being offered for free — thanks to a partnership between Ashfield District Council and Sport and Leisure Management, which runs the leisure centre.

To book a place, ring Dianne Holmes, physical activity officer at Ashfield Council, on 01623 457233 or e-mail her at d.c.holmes@ashfield-dc.gov.uk. Alternatively, log on at at www.mendprogramme.org.

The MEND initiative is being held at Edgewood on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 pm to 7 pm.

It covers nutrition subjects, such as managing sugar and fat intake, and offers regular physical activity, including fun games and swimming.

There are even lessons on how to cook healthy meals.

Frank Horsley, head of community and economic promotion at Ashfield Council, said: “It is well recognised by health professionals that overweight and obesity in childhood can cause health problems later in life, such as heart disease and diabetes.

“This type of programme can help children grow into a healthier weight and reduce the risk of health problems in later life.”