The SNP Government has awarded NHS Ayrshire & Arran £40,203 for a project to help prevent childhood obesity.
The funds will be used to extend existing services to reach a greater number of children and their families and to pilot a new universal group-based programme in early years centres.
Overall, the awarded proposal aims to provide equitable access to support on healthy weight for families through early intervention, and ultimately seeks to reduce inequalities in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and young children living in Ayrshire.
It is set in the context of Ayrshire's Healthy Weight Strategy, involving NHS Ayrshire & Arran and its three Community Planning Partnerships.
Key partners, such as leisure services, are committed to providing ongoing support to enable families to maintain a healthy weight through access to existing services and physical activity programmes in the local community. In addition, family support workers, social work staff and third sector organisations working with vulnerable families will also be involved to provide ongoing support, ensuring longer term sustainability.
Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick MSP said:
“We want children and families to have access to appropriate support to achieve as healthy a weight as possible, no matter where they live, and we will continue to support local partners to develop ambitious and effective plans to prevent and reduce childhood obesity.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP, joint Convenor of the Cross-Party Group on Scotland’s Health added:
“I am delighted that more than £40,203 will be invested in Ayrshire, helping local families make healthier choices for their children, which can be a challenge.
“As set out in the 2018 Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery plan, it is the SNP Government’s ambition is to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and significantly reduce diet-related health inequalities.
“The majority of this funding will be used to appoint staff to extend the reach of the existing service, complementing those who are already working to provide the necessary support and motivation to help families prevent childhood obesity.”
Ten initiatives working with young families to encourage healthy eating and good nutrition have been awarded £600,000 in total by the SNP Government, supported by Public Health Scotland, to help prevent and reduce levels of childhood obesity.