Councillor Joyce Bosnjak guest column: Swapping to a healthy lifestyle

We’re all fully aware that child obesity is a national issue – and we’re no different here in Nottinghamshire.

By News Reporter
Saturday, 11th January 2014, 6:07 am

There’s a lot of working taking place though, and although it’s not something that can be solved overnight, we are making progress.

The latest figures show good news for Mansfield, where the number of obese children is starting to fall; from 19.4 per cent to 16.6 per cent among 10-11 year olds, and from 8.7 per cent to 8.5 per cent in 4-5 year-olds.

We’re below the national average at both age groups,

Obviously we still want to bring those numbers down and help to keep improving the health and wellbeing of our children, but if we can sustain that rate of improvement we’ll start to make a real difference.

Put very simply eating more healthily and moving more will help families to keep their weight down, but we need to make sure we’re helping them by providing the right information, education, support and environment to help them.

Our recent consultation on obesity services will help inform how we plan weight management in the coming years.

After the over-indulgences of Christmas, New Year is a great time to think about getting your family to eat more healthily, but it can be a bit overwhelming to think about making big sweeping changes to your diet or lifestyle all at once.

Get habits right at a young age, and children will take them with them through adulthood, which is why we’re backing the latest Change4Life ‘Smart Swaps’ campaign, with its really simple message of just changing one thing in our diet for a month.

We can all swap our families to a healthier cereal, or change full fat milk to semi skimmed for example, and you’d surprised how it adds up.

By simply swapping sugary drinks for diet or sugar free versions, water or skimmed milk you’d save up to three quarters of a 1kg bag of sugar per family in four weeks.

What’s more if you’re feeling more energised, why not think about getting out and about, moving more, and enjoying some of our green spaces?

Signing up free to Change4Life Smart Swaps online will give you loads of ideas for swaps, as well as easy healthy recipes that you can try at home, and money off vouchers to use in the supermarkets.

It’s certainly food for thought.