New play tackles obesity

"Olly's Olympics" challenges pupils to think about their the risks of an unhealthy diet. Credit: ITV Central

A new play is being performed in primary schools in Nottinghamshire to tackle growing levels of childhood obesity.

"Olly's Olympics" challenges pupils to think about their the risks of an unhealthy diet and parents to think about the food they give their children.

The short drama depicts the dilemma facing Olive, a cafe owner bringing up her ten year old grandson Sammy. She wants him to eat more healthily but gives in when he pesters her for snacks.

The production by Nottingham-based Pintsize Theatre Company is touring 13 schools in the city and county.

The group approached a number of companies and charities to fund the project, but were turned down because the play was "too issue-based".

However, health and beauty giant Boots stepped in to help through their Charitable Trust.

Today, pupils at Annie Holgate Junior School in Hucknall were the first to watch the new play.

But, to the disappointment of the theatre company and the school, no parents attended.

Childhood obesity levels in Nottingham are higher than elsewhere in the country.

According to city council figures, at age 4-5, 11.3% of Nottingham children are obese (compared to 9.8% nationally), and at age 10-11 the figure rises to 21.9% (compared to 18.7%).

One third of the city's 10-11 year olds are overweight.

The launch of the new play comes on the day researchers published a new study on the effects of obesity worldwide.

The report by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says increasing levels of human weight could have the same impact on global resources as an extra billion people.