System gets the measure of childhood obesity

A NEW system is to be set up in Cambridgeshire to measure the problem of childhood obesity. National figures suggest obesity among children has risen from 9.9 per cent in 2003 to 14.3 per cent in 2004. And if these figures continue to rise, it is predicte

A NEW system is to be set up in Cambridgeshire to measure the problem of childhood obesity.

National figures suggest obesity among children has risen from 9.9 per cent in 2003 to 14.3 per cent in 2004.

And if these figures continue to rise, it is predicted that by 2010 a third of British children will be overweight or obese

However, currently in Cambridgeshire there is way of knowing how many children are affected and in need of help.


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Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust has told The Hunts Post it recognises the problem of childhood obesity and is working hard to set up a system to pinpoint exactly how many children in the county are obese or overweight.

Val Thomas, assistant director of public health for Cambridgeshire, said: "At the moment we are not sure of the exact figures but we are working with Cambridgeshire County Council and Huntingdonshire District Council to gather information."

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Ms Thomas added: "Nationally the figures are horrendous and we are working hard to introduce more initiatives to combat childhood obesity in Cambridgeshire."

The Hunts for Good Food programme was introduced in Huntingdonshire this year and has been recognised nationally for its contribution to cutting obesity. And an obesity referral scheme has also been set up in Cambridgeshire's market towns where GPs can refer overweight people to special schemes for help.

It is hoped figures for the number of obese or overweight children in Cambridgeshire will be released next September.

In South Cambridgeshire fitness experts and dieticians are going to be used in the new year to help overweight eight to 11 year olds shed the pounds.

South Cambridgeshire District Council has teamed up with the PCT to offer the 10-week To Energise And Motivate (TEAM) course, which starts in January.

Children will be able to try out various sports, while parents have the option of a workout.

Lynne Potter, health and exercise development co-ordinator said: "Childhood obesity is a national problem and a real worry for families. TEAM supports both parents and children to change their eating and exercise habits in a way that benefits the whole family."

INFORMATION: TEAM costs £50 per child and concessions are available. The courses will be held at Comberton Leisure Centre on Saturdays. To find out more contact Lynne Potter, health and exercise development co-ordinator on 01954 212042.

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