The rate of overweight and obese children in four to five year old children has reduced in Cwm Taf. This is the finding in the third report of the Child Measurement Programme for Wales, published today.
Angela Jones, Consultant in Public Health said, “This is a promising sign indicating that the good work going on in many settings in Cwm Taf is having a positive impact. Rates of obesity in children have been increasing across the UK in adults and children but this is the first time there has been a reduction in obesity among children in Cwm Taf.
There is still a long way to go, as the report shows that there is a strong link with obesity and poverty and we know that Cwm Taf has the highest level of deprivation in Wales.
Locally, a Childhood Obesity Steering Group has been established to focus action across the Health Board, Local Authorities, communities, school and preschool settings. Initial work has focussed on nutrition training. Public health dieticians are training staff in childcare settings, schools, communities as well as health and local authority professionals to increase knowledge and skills in nutrition.
The Healthy Sustainable Pre-School Scheme now operates in 55 settings across Cwm Taf, improving standards in nutrition, oral health, physical activity and play. This adds to the work of the Healthy School Scheme in all schools in Cwm Taf.
The steering group is working with families in deprived areas to develop local support services that help them achieve a healthy weight. The latest report of the Child Measurement Programme for Wales also highlights smaller areas within Cwm Taf to help target support.