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Health club for families

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: February 02, 2012

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Children and their families are being offered the chance to lead fitter, healthier and happier lives as part of a district-wide strategy to reduce childhood obesity.

A free after-school healthy lifestyle club starts this month and families who attend MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition... Do it!) will learn how to eat more healthily, read food labels and make their weekly shop healthier and easier. Children can also take part in fun physical activity sessions.

MEND's 10-week healthy living course will take place in Midsomer Norton for seven to 13-year-olds with sessions twice a week, and in once a week in Keynsham for five to seven-year-olds.

Samantha Britton, MEND's programme manager for Aquaterra Leisure, said: "Attending MEND is a great way to kick start a fitter, healthier and happier year for the whole family. MEND makes a real difference to children's lives.

"Through encouraging them to be more active and choose healthier options – children lose weight and their confidence increases. It's a fun, free way for families to improve their health and fitness."

As part of the local strategy to reduce childhood obesity, NHS Bath and North East Somerset is providing MEND free of charge to families.

The programme has been shown to be effective at reducing body mass index and increasing children's knowledge and understanding about healthy lifestyles. It can also increase self esteem.

MEND has helped more than 20,000 families across the country and is aimed at children aged five to 13 who are above a healthy weight.

Each session includes a one-hour interactive workshop for children and parents, and a one-hour fun physical activity session for children while their parents have a discussion about health and set themselves challenges each week to improve their family's lifestyle.

To register for a place call Jean Dugmore on 01225 486904 or email mendbnes@aquaterra.org.

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