The success of a comprehensive child obesity project is assessed

December 16, 2013

AS the UK faces up to a growing obesity crisis among youngsters, a University of Huddersfield expert has told a major conference about a successful project which saw a large number of children not only lose weight but also gain in self-esteem and begin to enjoy exercise, which they had previously grown to hate.

Kiara Lewis, Head of the Division of Health and Wellbeing in the University's School of Human and Health Sciences, specialises in the promotion of physical activity among overweight and sedentary people and she was invited to address a workshop organised in Durham by Public Health England. The event dealt with issues arising from the National Child Measurement programme, which gathers data used to support initiatives.

One of six invited speakers, Kiara reported on her research, which includes analysis of interviews with and her evaluation of a scheme called Young PALS, run by Kirklees Council and now known as the Start scheme.

"The children on the scheme were very successful in reducing the weight, but they also increased their self esteem and they became more active. I have been researching what it was about the scheme that made them feel better about themselves and why they now enjoy exercising. Beforehand they often disliked PE, but after they had been on the scheme they discovered they liked exercise and activity."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

During the period of evaluation by the University of Huddersfield, the Young PALS project involved more than 300 Kirklees children. Some 60 per cent of them reduced their BMI.

"Many of these hadn't had a positive experience of being physically active, so it was something they avoided. But now they were saying that they were enjoying exercise and they wanted to be generally more active."

Head of Health and Wellbeing Kiara Lewis addresses national Public Health England workshop on her research into activity schemes for overweight youngsters

Explore further: Free bus passes have health benefit, say researchers

Related Stories

Study finds parental stress linked to obesity in children

December 6, 2013

Parental stress is linked to weight gain in children, according to a new study from St. Michael's Hospital. The study found that children whose parents have high levels of stress have a Body Mass Index, or BMI, about 2 per ...

Recommended for you

A metabolic master switch underlying human obesity

August 19, 2015

Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Affecting more than 500 million people worldwide, obesity costs at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone, and contributes to potentially ...

Scientists probe obesity's ties to breast cancer risk

August 20, 2015

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for breast cancer, but researchers haven't figured out what connects the two. A new study suggests the link may be due to a change in breast tissue structure, which might promote breast ...

Can a new drug brown the fat and trim the obese person?

May 28, 2015

New research has found that a variant of a drug used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension prompts weight loss in obese mice. Among mice fed a high-fat diet, those who did not get the medication became obese while medicated ...

Changing stem cell structure may help fight obesity

February 17, 2015

The research, conducted at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), found that a slight regulation in the length of primary cilia, small hair-like projections found on most cells, prevented the production of fat cells from ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.