Free scheme to tackle child obesity

MORE than 15 per cent of 10 and 11-year-olds in North Somerset are obese, new figures show.

A study released by the NHS says of the children covered by the North Somerset Primary Care Trust, 15.9 per cent of year six pupils are obese.

A further 13.2 per cent are considered overweight, meaning 29.1 per cent are considered to have an unhealthy level of body fat.

The report, compiled during the 2010/11 school year, was released as part of the national child measurement programme.

It also shows 15.1 per cent of reception youngsters – aged four and five – are overweight, and 8.9 per cent obese.

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To combat the growing trend in youngsters, North Somerset Council said one of the health initiatives it is championing is the Mind Exercise, Nutrition, Do it (MEND) programme.

The programme consists of after-school sessions held twice a week to boost esteem and help youngsters lose weight.

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Independent research has shown that children attending MEND, which is available for free in North Somerset, have benefited from weight loss and fitness and self-esteem.

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