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City Of York Council Shares Tips For Healthy Children


9:41am 29th October 2013

In response to receiving  National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance on how to manage overweight and obesity among children and young people City of York Council wants to give parents tips and advice for managing their children’s weight before it becomes an issue.

It is recommended that adults need to be active for at least 150 minutes each week say City of York Council, which they add they promote through their “Just 30” campaign which recommends 30 minutes of activity per day, children aged between five and 16 need 60 minutes of activity each day and children under five need three hours of activity each day.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, City of York Council’s Director of Health and Wellbeing said: “The recommendation for the amount of activity required for children is in addition to the activities undertaken during the school day.  Although children are active at school, a lot of the time they are sat down and, especially as they get older, are happy to chat with their friends in the playground instead of running around.  Getting the whole family involved in something can make activities more fun; and children are more likely to join in if they see mum or dad doing it too.

“Playing together is a great way to be active as a family too.  It burns energy and helps children to maintain a healthy weight which reduces their risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer later in life.

“Often the cost of taking part in organised activities is a barrier to some people joining in, but being active doesn’t have to be expensive.  Walking or cycling to work or school, visiting the local park, gardening and playing games outside are all great ways to be active for very little cost.”

The NICE guidance also encourages families to eat more healthily.  Change4Life’s recent Be Food Smart campaign helped to raise the profile of the importance of knowing about the salt, fat and sugar content of many foods.  In addition to this City of York Council is recommending using child-sized plates and bowls for children’s meals as food served on adult-sized plates can be deceiving in terms of the actual amount being served.

Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Service said: “Setting regular healthy snack times for mid-morning and afternoon helps to train the body to think regular food is on its way which makes us less likely to overeat at meal times.

“Ensuring your children get their “five a day” can sometimes be a challenge in our busy lives and it can be expensive too.  Buying tinned fruit and vegetables is a cheaper option and they have longer use by dates, but make sure they’re in their own juice rather than syrup.  Or there’s also the option of buying frozen fruit and vegetables as you only take out what you need but it still has all the goodness of fresh produce.”

For further information please visit  http://www.york.gov.uk/info/200170/health_and_wellbeing and www.change4life.com

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