NHS to receive £600,000 in funding to tackle childhood obesity

Health programmes such as Ayrshire and Arran's Jumpstart Tots are to get thousands in funding.

Scottish Government pledges £600,000 funding for NHS programmes to help prevent childhood obesity iStock

The Scottish Government has pledged £600,000 to Scotland’s health service to help prevent childhood obesity.

The funding is going to six NHS programmes aimed at giving children under five and their families support to maintain a healthy weight and reducing health inequalities.

One project is JumpStart Tots – run by NHS Ayrshire & Arran – which has already seen a number of young children and families in the area benefit from the healthy weight programme.

It’s part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensure all children have the best start in life and the projects support the ambition to halve childhood obesity in Scotland by 2030.

It also builds on the government’s 2018 Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan, working with the public and private sector designed to encourage Scots to make healthier food choices.

Public health minister Maree Todd said: “On World Obesity Day we reiterate the importance of improving health and reducing health inequalities across Scotland.

“We want Scotland to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up and we know good nutrition and physical activity is crucial for children’s health and development.

“These projects are crucial to our bold ambition to halve childhood obesity in Scotland by 2030. They tackle inequalities working with families and communities to encourage healthy eating and offering support for those experiencing food insecurity.

Scots are being encouraged to make healthier choicesiStock

“We will continue to support local partners to develop these ambitious and effective plans to help prevent and reduce childhood obesity, alongside policies such as our Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan and Best Start Foods payment, which are central to our commitment to ensure everyone in Scotland has access to healthy, nutritious food.”

Dr Ruth Campbell, consultant dietitian in public health nutrition for NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said: “The continued early years funding from Scottish Government has enabled NHS Ayrshire & Arran to extend the Jumpstart Tots programme to more families across Ayrshire.

“Jumpstart Tots is an interactive healthy lifestyle programme which offers families with children aged between two and five, a minimum of eight one hour sessions that are planned to suit each individual family’s needs.

“Local parents feedback has been that the Jumpstart Tots programme has helped them make changes that their whole family has been able to benefit from as a result of finding out more about the food they eat.”

Projects receiving funding are:

  • NHS Ayrshire & Arran: JumpStart Tots – £53,769
  • NHS Lanarkshire: ‘Little n Lively’ programme in partnership with Healthy Valleys – £150,000
  • NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde: ‘Thrive Under Five’ programme – £305,448
  • NHS Grampian: Training and support for a group of multi-agency professionals across Aberdeenshire to deliver the HENRY approach – £17,028
  • NHS Lothian and NHS Fife:  Continued delivery of HENRY core training to early years workforce  – £57,000 (£48,500 for Lothian, £8,500 for Fife)
  • NHS Lothian: Improving and increasing weaning support £10,000
  • The Scottish Government published the Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan in July 2018.
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