MEND – Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it! – is targeted at helping children between the ages of 7 and 13 who are over the healthy weight range for their age and height to become healthier and active with the support of their parents or carers.
The programme is the largest national scheme for tackling childhood overweight and obesity and NHS Swindon is offering families the chance to put New Year’s resolutions into action by offering three free courses starting early in January – at Link Centre, Penhill and Dorcan.
The programme involves children and parents attending two sessions a week after school for ten weeks where they learn through discussion and practical activity how to become healthier and fitter.
On a visit to the Link Centre Autumn course, South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said he was impressed by the commitment of parents to attend. “It’s not easy to first accept that there is a problem with weight and secondly do something about it, so I was pleased to meet children and parents who were learning about good nutrition and exercise in a fun way.
“As chair of the All Party Parliamentary Kidney Group, I’m very aware of the level of kidney failure caused by the increase in diabetes due to poor diet. MEND is a very important way of helping young people learn good habits and be aware of keeping healthy.”
For details of the January MEND courses, call Emma Creighton on 0781 8510563 or mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To check whether a child is a healthy weight or if they might benefit from MEND, parents can find out more at www.mendcentral.org which has a handy body mass index (BMI) calculator.
Robert Buckland MP, centre, with MEND course members and coordinators