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Young people take positive steps towards a healthier future

ByDave Stopher

Sep 1, 2016

 

The aim of attending the MoreLife camp is to help children and young people work towards achieving – and then maintaining – a healthy weight, by providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to make positive and realistic change to their lifestyles. It offers them a unique opportunity to explore their attitudes towards food, activity and lifestyle in a safe environment and to gain a better understanding of how to make positive steps towards a healthier future.

The MoreLife camp aims to tackle one of today’s most serious public health challenges

– childhood obesity. Current data collected through the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) shows two in ten children aged four to five in North Yorkshire are overweight or obese, a figure that increases to three in ten by the age of 10 to 11 years.

Being overweight or obese in childhood has consequences for health in both the short term and long term. The emotional and psychological effects of being overweight are often seen as the most immediate and serious by children themselves and include teasing by peers; low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Obese children are more likely to be absent from school due to illness and experience health-related consequences such as asthma and type 2 diabetes. Overweight and obese children are more likely to become obese adults.

North Yorkshire County Council is committed to tackling childhood obesity and funding places at the annual MoreLife Camp is an important part of the County Council’s Healthy Child Programme.

“We offer a range of services to support young people who are above a healthy weight,” said County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Public Health and Stronger Communities. “The MoreLife programme plays an important part in these, offering a distinctive and fun package of professional and peer support to young people through the experience of a residential camp.

“A number of places are funded by the County Council, for young people aged eight to 17 years who feel that staying at the camp will give them the chance to discuss their lifestyles and eating habits with health professionals in a fun and confidential way.”

Cllr Chance and Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, visited this year’s camp and saw first-hand the range of interactive lifestyle sessions and physical activities on offer.

“The MoreLife camp is a great summertime programme, but the support offered to the young people who attend does not stop there,” said Dr Sargeant. “Many young people will have lost weight by the end of their time at camp and the follow-on support offered by MoreLife ensures that their weight loss journey continues after they go home. Local support is also available from the services offered by our Healthy Child programme.”

For more information about the MoreLife camp go to www.morelifecamp.com or call 0113 812 5233. For young people who don’t qualify for the MoreLife Camp, there is still support available from the national Change4life initiative – go to www.nhs.uk/change4life to find out more.