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Council launches kids keep fit programme

Silverstone Primary School are taking part in the 'Healthier Child Project' Photo: ITV News Anglia

One of our region's councils is stepping up efforts to reduce obesity, by asking the whole community to get children exercising and eating well.

More than 80 schools have joined Northamptonshire's 'Healthier Child Project', which began after government data - published early last year - showed Northamptonshire to be one of the most overweight counties in England. The latest countrywide figures, from the National Child Measurement Programme, show that childhood obesity continues to rise, although less quickly than in previous years.

Northamptonshire County Council has made reducing childhood obesity one of its top priorities. The idea is that by instilling good eating habits in early life, obesity in the adult population will come down over time. 82 schools have signed up to the Healthier Child Project, and the Council says it is now running a waiting list.

Silverstone Junior School is trialling a breakfast club, funded by a local housing company. If the trials go well, the club will be offered every day in the summer term. The housing company has offered to fund it for a year.

"The initiative looks at bringing the whole community together, and I think that's really important. For example today we're working very closely with South Northampton homes who have funded this breakfast club. It's about building those relationships and taking a county wide responsibility, working together to address this childhood obesity problem."

– Paul Evans Northamptonshire County Council
The Breakfast Club at Silverstone Primary School, Northants Credit: ITV News Anglia

At the school in Silverstone, parents are being offered one-on-one sessions with nurses and nutritional specialists, to get advice on how to improve their children's diets and on understanding labels on food.

Northamptonshire Sport, a council-run organisation, is also working with teachers to give improved fitness classes.

None of these services are entirely new, but the aim is to adopt a more focused and joined up approach involving nurses, parents, teachers and children themselves. This way good eating habits can be reinforced throughout their education and home lives.

Click below to see Olivia Paterson's report