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New initiative offers food for thought

Cumbria County Council`s Local Committee for Eden has pledged £10,000 towards a Healthy Weight and Lifestyle Project in Eden at its meeting on Wednesday 15 January 2020.

The need for local authorities to take action on Childhood Obesity was raised last year by the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), which highlighted a cause for concern in the number of overweight and obese young children in Eden district.

The funding will deliver an award-winning healthy lifestyle programme, ‘Phunky Foods’ through a number of participating schools. The project will work with schools and engage with families and communities to promote healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices. The programme will provide information sessions on nutrition and healthy cooking for children and families as well as developing kitchen garden projects and activities to increase physical fitness and to improve mental health and wellbeing. The Phunky Foods programme also promotes a range of year round initiatives and awards to encourage as many children and families as possible to take part.

Cllr David Whipp, Chairman of Eden Local Committee said: “Childhood obesity is a national problem that is causing huge concern. Eden Local Committee is keen to support this initiative and encourage our childern to live fit and healthy lifestyles, and have the ability to make healthy choices for themselves, from a young age – creating good habits that will hopefully take them into a healthy adult life. We hope this pilot project will encourage many people from our communities to consider the importance of healthy food and an active lifestyle.”

Cllr Phil Dew, Chair of Eden Local Committee’s Children and Young People Working Group said: “The aim of Phunky Foods is to educate children and their families in Early Years and Primary settings and help them to make healthier lifestyle choices. The Children and Young People`s Working Group considered many new emerging initiatives and schemes available across the UK, to tackle obesity and work with communities to improve health and fitness. The Phunky Foods programme offers a complete package that schools and communities can tailor to the needs of their families.”

The programme will initially be offered to pre-selected schools in the areas of Eden with the highest number of overweight and obese young children for a period of one year. Following this, the impact of the initiative will be assessed and consideration given to developing the project more widely across the district.

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