Parents in Wales get new advice on preventing childhood obesity

An NHS programme to tackle childhood obesity in Wales has been launched.
Family dinner

An NHS programme to tackle childhood obesity and help parents in Wales give their child the best start has been launched today.

Family dinner
Every Child Wales aims to help parents ensure their children stay a healthy weight.
Picture: iStock

Public Health Wales developed Every Child Wales after a survey of 1,500 parents showed that just 4% of parents with children aged four to five described their child as being overweight for their age and height.

However, the 2015-16 Child Measurement Programme results show that just over one quarter (26%) of children in this age group are overweight or obese in Wales.

Serious issue

The Every Child Wales website aims to help parents ensure their children stay a healthy weight. It includes advice on breastfeeding, how to cut down on sugary drinks, managing screen time, and factors that can increase the risk of a child becoming overweight and put them at risk of developing problems, such as type 2 diabetes or asthma.

Public Health Wales director of health improvement Julie Bishop said: ‘Many parents may not realise that their child is overweight or they may not be aware that it’s something to take seriously. When children are a healthy weight they feel better about themselves and find it easier to play and learn.’

Responding to the development, RCN Wales associate director (professional practice) Alison Davies said: ‘Every child in Wales really does deserve the best start in life. Health visitors, school nurses and their teams are perfectly placed to support children and families in being as healthy as possible. Their contribution to health and well-being, along with other nurses, is essential to the health and well-being of the overall population.’

Every Child Wales is the first stage of a long-term programme of work to increase the proportion of children who start school a healthy weight.

In other news