Childhood obesity programmes in schools are not successful in solving the epidemic affecting the UK.
This is according to researchers who say much wider local and national action is needed, including a reduction in the advertising of junk food.
A major obesity programme, introduced into more than 50 primary schools in the West Midlands, has failed to show any change in children’s weight.
Children were given a year of extra physical activity sessions, a healthy eating programme and cookery workshops with their parents and families also invited to activity events.
About 1,400 children aged six and seven took part in the trial. At the start of the trial, height and weight was recorded for each of them, along with other measurements relating to body fat, diet and physical activity levels.
But, at the end of 30 month programme, there was no difference in obesity between those children who took part and those who did not.
The government’s childhood obesity plan was launched from Downing Street in January last year. It placed emphasis on increasing sport and other activity in schools.
A number of school-based obesity programmes have been introduced around the country, focusing on increasing physical activity and improving children’s diet in school.
So what needs to be done?
The Breaker spoke to a nutritionist who has worked with young children and families for many years. She tells us that much wider action is required.
Anne-Marie Fletcher tells us spending more time outside can help. Clearing head space through taking part in outside activities can help reduce stress, and lead to a decrease in bad eating habits.
Watch Anne-Marie explain these calming techniques to reduce bad eating in The Breaker’s video below: