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Kids measure up for weight loss

PUBLISHED: 17:35 23 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:48 30 June 2010

CHILDREN in Great Yarmouth are being helped to lose weight taking part in a nationwide measurement initiative.

During 2008/09, 96pc of reception year children across the PCT area took part in the National Child Measurement Programme - the highest in the east of England.

CHILDREN in Great Yarmouth are being helped to lose weight taking part in a nationwide measurement initiative.

During 2008/09, 96pc of reception year children across the PCT area took part in the National Child Measurement Programme - the highest in the east of England.

For Year 6 pupils, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney came second in the region, with a participation rate of 93.1pc.

The figures are a significant increase from the previous year, when 86pc of reception children and 90pc of Year 6 pupils took part. It follows a drive to ensure parents are fully informed about the programme, along with the benefits it could bring them.

At the same time, the PCT has recorded a slight decrease in the number of children classed as obese in both age groups - from 10.4pc in 2007/08 to 9.6pc in 2008/09 for reception year and 19.6pc to 18.9pc in Year 6.

Team leader for children's services Marisa Fox said: “We are committed to supporting families to help their children move towards a healthy weight, as being overweight seriously damages people's health. In children, this can lead to major problems later in life, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

“We have been working hard to educate parents about the reasons the programme is in place, and have also liaised closely with the schools to make sure the measurements take place at a time convenient to them.

“We're delighted that these efforts have been reflected in the increasing number of families taking part.”

A number of initiatives are in place inside and out of school to encourage healthy eating and exercise.

For more information visit www.gywpct.nhs.uk and click on the healthy lives tab.

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