A FREE scheme to combat childhood obesity will be starting again in Kirklees.
The 10-week MEND programme – which stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition ... Do it – is encouraging youngsters and their families to enrol for healthy lifestyle classes.
The call comes as figures show one in three Kirklees children are overweight.
The courses – being held at Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre in Cleckheaton, Scissett Baths or Batley Baths and Recreation Centre – offer children aged seven to 13 the chance to become fitter and healthier whilst having fun.
Youngsters and their parents will learn about healthy eating and how to enjoy physical activity.
They will also visit a supermarket as part of the course to find out how to read food labels and about the range of foods they should be eating.
Health experts at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London devised the scheme, which is funded by the Big Lottery.
Richard Tremere, MEND’s regional manager for Huddersfield, said: “The MEND Programme is a fun way for children above a healthy weight to get fit and healthy and improve their self-esteem.
“We offer a safe and non-judgemental environment for families to learn how to make healthy choices and become more active.”
The programme consists of two hourly sessions twice a week over a 10-week period. Each session includes a one-hour interactive workshop for children and parents. The children then take part in a one-hour fun physical activity session while the parents have an adult discussion.
An independent study published in Obesity Journal last month found that children who attended the MEND Programme experienced long-term health benefits, including sustained weight loss and improvements in cardiovascular fitness and self-esteem.
For more information or to register for programmes in Kirklees call 01484 234096 or freephone 0800 230 0263. People can also visit the MEND website at www.mendcentral.org