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Wigan leads the way in tackling childhood obesity
Wednesday 18th December, 2013

WLCT is helping to successfully prevent and tackle childhood obesity in Wigan.

A new report has revealed that child obesity figures at reception age are starting to decline across the country, with Wigan’s figures better than the national average.

Figures show that in Wigan the proportion of obese children at reception age in 2012/13 was 8.5 per cent compared with 10.4 in 2010/11. The current national average is 9.3 per cent.

The local leisure and culture provider runs a number of programmes to promote healthy eating and activity in the borough, including Let’s Get Movin’ - an integrated family weight management service for 0–17 year olds, their families and local schools.

The programme includes Healthy Habits for Life courses for families and free swimming for obese children aged two-11 and their families, the national child measurement programme NCMP for reception and year six children in all schools, and access to supervised gym sessions at secondary school level.

Carol Southern, manager of WLCT’s Active Living team, said: “The work we have historically carried out is now starting to have a real impact on the health of children in Wigan, which is really encouraging. We have now started to spread the healthy living messages at pre-school age to ensure that children have a positive start when it comes to healthy eating and keeping active.”

Cllr Paul Kenny, Wigan Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “I’m delighted that we are performing above the national average when it comes to childhood obesity and hope we see this trend continue to improve.”

A link to the national report can be viewed at www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB13115

More details of the work carried out by WLCT can be found at www.wlct.org/activeliving

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