Third of all ten and 11-year-olds classed as obese

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GROUPS in Hucknall, through the Dispatch’s ‘Fit, Healthy and Happy campaign’, are being urged to tackle childhood obesity — after statistics revealed a third of all local ten and 11-year-olds are overweight.

Despite obesity levels falling across Nottinghamshire among five and six-year-olds, this trend is not reflected for older children between 2007 and 2011, particularly in Ashfield.

The disappointing results feature in a report that outlines the impact of obesity on the local population, how it is being tackled and future ways forward to reduce the problem.

This has prompted Notts County Council to discuss the issue at a meeting of its health and wellbeing board this week.

“Obesity is a national problem which we cannot ignore as the impact on health, the economy, and health and social care services is very significant,” said Coun Martin Suthers (Con), chairman of the board.

“There are a wide variety of projects underway across the county, which aim to combat the problem and local statistics suggest that obesity levels are not increasing.”

“However we recognise that more can be done to reduce the problem, particularly in areas with higher levels of obesity.”

Ashfield also has the highest number of obese adults compared to the rest of the county at 28 per cent. This could be related to also having the lowest consumption rates of fruit and vegetables.

The council will look at creating more resources to reduce the number of children becoming overweight and improve weight-management programmes for families and obese adults.

The Change4Life initiative was launched by the government in 2009 to tackle health and fitness in the country.Notts County Council has been supporting the Games4Life element of the campaign to encourage people to increase their physical activities and schools have been encouraged to raise awareness in the classroom of the benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

The Dispatch launched its ‘Fit, Healthy and Happy’ campaign in February to improve the overall wellbeing of people across the Hucknall and Bulwell area.

The county council is distributing questionnaires and will compile a diary of physical activities based on its responses for the people who complete the questionnaire, which will also be available online at www.nhs.co.uk/games4life.