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NHS must offer healthy food to overweight children, says NICE

23 July 2015 - 11:22am

NHS trusts should provide overweight children and their parents with healthy food choices and information about local programmes that may help them lose weight.

NHS must offer healthy food to overweight children, says NICE

It can be a difficult subject to raise, but physiotherapy staff are ideally placed to talk about healthy lifestyles with overweight children and young people

These are recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), in a new quality standard about preventing and managing obesity in children and young people.

NICE says that in 2013/14 more than one in five children in the UK were overweight or obese when they started at primary school. And the problem was even greater among older children, with more than one in three children aged 10 to 11 being classified as overweight or obese.

CSP professional adviser Carley King told Frontline: ‘We welcome this quality standard as it clearly outlines the need for information about, or referral to, specialist services such as local lifestyle weight management programmes.

‘Physiotherapy staff are ideally placed to initiate conversations around healthy lifestyles, although it can feel particularly difficult to raise weight sensitively with overweight children and young people.’

Quality standards

The document sets out a series of standards that local authority and NHS venues should be meeting to help prevent and manage obesity in children and young people.

These include

  • providing details of nutritional information available on menus
  • displaying healthy food and drink choices in prominent places
  • ensuring that vending machines offer healthy food and drink options

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