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Starting well

Why is this a priority?

The World Health Organization has described childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health challenges for the 21st century. Excess weight in childhood has consequences for health, both in the short and long term. Overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults with a much higher likelihood of developing physical health problems later on in life. Emotional and psychological wellbeing can also be affected - children can find themselves being teased and suffering from low self-esteem and anxiety.

Giving every child the best start in life, supporting children, young people, their families and carers, is key to reducing inequalities. Investment in early childhood interventions, particularly in the first two years of life, reduces inequalities and has positive, long-lasting impacts on wellbeing, ensuring a solid foundation for the transition to adulthood. The Eat Well Be Active framework supports giving children the best start in life, by enabling children to eat healthily and be more active.

Outcome

Every child in Cheshire West and Chester has the best start in life and is supported to eat healthily and be more active every day.

Key actions

  • Encourage healthy weight before, during and after pregnancy
  • Encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life
  • Work with schools and pre-schools to ensure children eat well and are active.

Indicators

  • Breastfeeding rates (initiation and at six - eight weeks)
  • Child excess weight (four - five year olds) (percentage of children classified as overweight or obese)
  • Child excess weight (10-11year olds) (percentage of children classified as overweight or obese)
  • Percentage of physically active and inactive children
  • Proportion of 15 year olds meeting the five a day recommendations
  • Average number of portions of fruit consumed daily at age 15
  • Average number of portions of vegetables consumed daily at age 15
  • Number of primary schools signed up to Active Kids Pledge and Change 4 Life Active Schools Planner.

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