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  1. ITV Report

New plan to improve children's healthcare in Wales

A new Public Health Wales Programme is being launched to improve the health and wellbeing of children.

A child who is overweight at 5 years old is more likely to be obese by 8 years old Credit: PA

The scheme, Every Child Wales has been set up after a survey revealed that parents don't always recognise when their child is overweight.

Four percent of parents with children aged 4 to 5 described their child as being overweight for their weight and height, however the Child Measurement Programme found that, actually, 26% of children aged 4-5 are overweight or obese in Wales.

26%
The percentage of children aged 4 to 5 in Wales who are overweight or obese.

The new programme, Every Child Wales, plans to bring together information and advice to support parents in giving children a healthier start in life.

A child who is overweight at 5 years old is more likely to be obese by 8 years old and could develop more long term health problems like Asthma and Type 2 diabetes.

Every Child Wales will help parents improve their child's health.

  • Breastfeeding
  • Cutting down on sugary drinks
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Amount of screen time children have (watching TV, playing games)

Director of Health Improvement for Public Health Wales, which Dr Julie Bishop said that if a child spends their early years healthy and happy, they are more likely to grow in healthy adults.

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 they find it easier to play and learn.

Starting from birth, helping children stay a healthy weight is the best approach.

– Dr Julie Bishop, Director of Health Improvement, Public Health Wales

Every Child Wales is the first stage of a long term programme to increase the number of children starting school at a healthy weight.