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How to talk about

Health

Health

A 2017 study by the University of Surrey has shown a link between childhood obesity and conditions like heart disease and diabetes in later life.

Researchers looked at data from more than 300,000 participants, as children and then again 25 years later.

It comes as there is a warning childhood obesity has become increasingly prevalent in the UK, with figures from the NHS National Child Measurement Programme indicating that 19.8 per cent of 10-11 year olds were classed as obese in 2015/16.

That is a rise of 0.7 per cent on the previous year.

But being unhealthy doesn't always mean being overweight. It could be malnutrition.

So how can you give your child the best chances on the health spectrum?


Look out for the signs your child doesn't have a healthy lifestyle

  • Change in sleep patterns; Some change as children develop into teens is normal, but watch out for any dramatic changes in sleep
  • Decline in Academic Performance
  • Eating a lot or very little
  • Feeling weak and tired
  • Getting ill often

(Source: NHS Choices)


How to start the conversation

  • Establish the right time to talk to your child, when they are alert and not tired and when other siblings are not around

  • Maybe cook their favouirte meal or go out together somewhere quiet, for example a walk in the park

  • Begin by asking if they have noticed a change in their behaviour

  • If they reveal a wider issues is the cause you can refer to the specific page within this guide for support on the specific issue

  • If you establish you child is simply not eating well, exercising well, or sleeping properly try suggesting small day by day improvements

  • Set goals as a family, ask how you can help them. It could be setting a bedtime and handing over technology for the night so they have no distractions. It may be cooking healthy family meals together

  • Remind them they have not done anything wrong you just love them and want to make their life as healthy as possible

  • Discuss better meal sizes. A good rule of thumb is to start meals with small servings and, just like Oliver Twist, if they're still hungry they'll ask for more

  • Aim for 60 minutes of exercise a day. This can be a great way to improve mental wellbeing as well as physical

(Source: Change 4 Life)


Where else can I get help?

© Produced by Adele Norris in association with Eagle Radio