The healthy weight priority is centred around Healthy Eating and Physical Activity. Under this umbrella there are many projects that schools can engage in. Although they have been grouped for convenience, they do not have to be run in isolation. Please also note the MEND pages detailing targeted work with children and families.
As much as 60% of the population could be obese by 2050, so we must start making changes in attitude and lifestyle if we want to avoid this!
Schools have an important role in defining and encouraging young children to make positive life choices. Research shows that obesity rates double in primary school years and increase further in secondary schools. Therefore schools need to equip young children to eat healthy and be physically active. Regular physical activity not only helps in reducing obesity but it also supports improved mental wellbeing and improved academic attainment.
Schools can encourage young people to be active in a variety of ways:
1. Provision of the daily 60 minutes of physical activity recommended daily.
3. Include the Daily Mile in the school curriculum.
5. Encourage parents and pupils to participate in our funded projects such as Beat the Streets
School Nutrition and Activity Project in Swindon (SNAPS)
The Schools Nutrition and Activity Programme in Swindon (SNAPS) is focused on activities that promote healthy living. This will be a pilot programme aimed at targeted primary schools in the first instance.
The aim is to support pupils to maintain a healthy weight and improve health and wellbeing. The project does not focus on obesity, as this is emotive for many parents.
The programme involves assessing the whole school environment, and implementing programmes to reduce sugar intake and increase physical activity in pupils, staff and parents.
These can take up to 1 year to fully implement
A schools champion will be identified with each participating school, to support the implementation of this programme. An implementation group will be set up to plan and implement the SNAPS programme, which should include schools staff, pupil and parental representation.
Programmes to implement
- Sugar Smart accreditation (sugarsmartuk.org/get involved/)- this is a national programme to reduce sugar intake and there is specific advice for schools.
- Active travel using Modeshift Stars system for travel plans. Schools build their travel plan online and work towards bronze, silver and gold accreditation - swindontravelchoices.co.uk/switch-travel/travel-to-school/modeshift-stars..
- Implement of a mile a day programme e.g. the Golden mile.
- Schools games- provided by Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Partnership - wiltssport.org/school-games.
There needs to be links to parents and pupils to support lifestyle changes at home e.g. Sugar Smart, active travel, keeping active.
Public Health Practitioners will organise the evaluation with targeted schools.
Overview of evaluation
- Baseline and follow up assessments each term to provide process evaluation on implementing SNAPS.
- Measurement of changes in sugar intake in pupils each term.
- National Child Measurement Programme annual data, to show if there are any changes in excess weight at school level.
- Physical activity and some wellbeing information, through a boosted children’s Active Lives survey. This is carried out three times/year and Wiltshire and Swindon Sport Partnership can select our target schools as part of this evaluation. As this is a national survey, we can make comparisons to other areas.
Further information and outcomes will be shared to encourage once the pilot work is complete.