Festivals aim to fight fat in the family; pounds pounds 1.5m grant goes into tackle child obesity.Byline: Robin Turner
ALMOST pounds 1.5m is being poured into schemes across South Wales South Wales south n → sud m du Pays de Galles to tackle the problem of child obesity.
The projects will see children in Merthyr growing their own fruit and vegetables at allotments to develop an interest in food and how it is produced.
And there will be dozens of "healthy eating, healthy lifestyle" festivals across Wales promoting good food and exercise.
Fourteen projects in Wales are to benefit from the pounds 6.3m awarded under the Big Lottery Fund's Way of Life (WOL v. t. & i. 1. See 2d Will. ) initiative.
Childhood obesity has been one of the most worrying health trends in Wales over the past decade, with more children overweight than ever before.
World Health Organisation figures show 17.8% of 13-year-old boys in Wales are overweight, as are 15.1% of girls.
And 4.4% ofWelsh13-year-old boys are actually classed as clinically obese with the figure for girls of the same age 1.7%.
Last year, Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Tony Jewell Tony 'TJ' Jewell is a former Australian rules football player who played in the VFL between 1964 and 1970 for the Richmond Football Club. He was senior coach of Richmond from 1979 to 1981 and then again from 1986 to 1987. He was also senior coach of St Kilda in 1983. urged all government departments to work together to tackle what he called the "epidemic" of obesity among the young.
He said: "I am particularly concerned about the health of children in Wales, notably the rising epidemic of obesity, high smoking rates, and the growing culture of binge-drinking.
"Children in Wales drink more alcohol at an earlier age, exercise less and have body mass index results higher than the majority of countries in the western world."
Big Lottery Fund The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) is a grant-making organisation in the UK (England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland) created by the Government to administer the funding of good causes following the creation of the National Lottery. Wales committee member Graham Benfield said: "Childhood obesity is a major worry facing families and the government in Wales and our consultation has shown negative influences on childhood lifestyle are best tackled through an approach that seeks to link physical activity and nutrition.
"Existing evidence also shows projects that tackle these issues by involving the whole family are more successful and that's why the Big Lottery Fund developed the new Healthy Families programme."
Included among the projects are:
Caerphilly Caerphilly (kīrfĭl`ē, kär–), Welsh Caerffili, town (1981 pop. 42,376) and county borough, 108 sq mi (279 sq km), S Wales. (pounds 497,749) - The project will be delivered across Caerphilly County and will promote a "joined-up approach" to increase awareness of healthy eating and physical activity, and achieve positive changes in attitude and behaviour for overweight and obese children aged eight to 11 and their families;
Cardiff (pounds 493,877) - The scheme will be delivered to children under 12 in specifically targeted areas of Cardiff. Emphasis will be on nutrition, physical activity and play; and, Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tydfil (mûr`thər tĭd`vĭl), town (1981 pop. 38,893) and county borough, 43 sq mi (111 sq km), S Wales. Located on the Taff River, the town is connected to Cardiff by canal. It has ironworks and steelworks. (pounds 492,113) - The project will concentrate on four wards. Over a three-year period, the programme will deliver 150 healthy lifestyle festivals in the four areas.
A key element of the festivals will be the linkages to the allotments projects, where children will be growing vegetables and fruit.