A ‘weight management’ programme for overweight children has been backed by Central Beds Council.
Beezee Bodies is a 17-week course designed for two- to 15-year-olds, offering practical advice and ideas about how to live a healthy life and help control bodyweight.
The course also allows parents and children to meet with other families in similar situations in a relaxed social setting.
Around one-third of 10 and 11-year-olds in the east of England are overweight or obese and issues arising from a lack of physical activity cost the local NHS £3.6million in 2009/10.
Beezee Bodies director Stuart King said: “There’s the obvious issue of the cost to the NHS – and that needs addressing – but more importantly it’s the experiences of the families. There’s a lot of stigmatism that goes with being overweight nowadays and we just want people to be happy and healthy.”
Organised by the council’s public health team, courses will run in Dunstable and Houghton Regis, as well as Leighton Buzzard and Biggleswade.
Councillor Mark Versallion said: “This is a fantastic programme and lots of local families are already experiencing the benefits of taking part.
“What’s great about it is that all the advice and support is geared towards busy families, so while it’s really helpful, it’s also realistic.”
Concern has been raised over the stigma attached to sending one’s child to a ‘fat camp’, but Facebook user Jo Rainbow said: “What about the stigma of being a fat teenager or child?
“If I had kids I would rather they were a bit embarrassed about attending one of these sessions rather then the bullying and embarrassment of being overweight – if it sorts the problem out then I would send kids there.”
For more information, visit www.beezeebodies.co.uk