Childhood obesity: my vision for unlocking the potential of school nurses

Series 3 Episode S7: Pippa Bagnall calls for more work on child obesity prevention

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The government must take action on the data it collects that shows a rise in obesity as children progress through primary school.

A well-being expert and former school nurse tells Nursing Standard podcast the government-funded programme for measuring five and 11-year-olds would be more effective if there were there follow-up initiatives to act on the figures.

Pippa Bagnall, head of well-being for MyTime Active, a charity promoting health through activity, also explains how nurses could play a bigger role in preventing childhood health problems such as obesity.

She says little action is taken between the two measurements – at age 5 and 11 – despite a 100% increase in incidence of child obesity between these two age points.

Prevention programmes

Ms Bagnall calls for more ‘serious’ preventative action, including regular measurements of children as young as two.

‘So as soon as we can see a child is going above the percentile they should be on, we can start to help them and their families make the adjustment they need to make,' she says.

‘Because once a child is obese, it is really hard to help them, both from the physical point of view, but also the stigma of being overweight.’

Hear about the programmes in which Ms Bagnall has been involved, and how she would develop the role of the school nurse.

Also on the episode, Mental Health Practice editor Colin Parish meets with City University professor Alan Simpson to discuss the future of mental health nursing.

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