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Sefton's children help in the fight for a healthy future

Reception children are currently being invited to take part in the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) to help NHS Sefton understand the changing patterns of children’s weight in Sefton.
 
It is hoped that all parents will consent to their four and five year olds taking part in the final phase of the annual programme, which is now in its eighth year.
 
NHS Sefton is encouraging every child to take part in this national programme so we are able to gain information for Sefton against national trends in underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese children. From this information we can then look at local planning and how we deliver services.
 
Dr Janet Atherton, Sefton’s Director of Public Health, said: “Promoting healthy weight in children is a high priority, because, as research shows, if a child is overweight now, he or she is more likely to grow up to be an overweight adult. NHS Sefton is supporting the programme because the NCMP plays an important part in the overall healthy weight programme.”
 
The NCMP is also a great way to engage with children and families about healthy lifestyles. It is run by fully trained school health staff. Children are simply asked to remove their shoes and any heavy outdoor coats. They are then weighed and measured in their normal indoor clothes.
 
Parents and carers are sent their child’s results following the programme. No information about any individual child’s weight or height is given to pupils or school staff.
 
Dr Atherton went on to say: “NHS Sefton is trying to tackle obesity across the borough as a quarter of all five year olds are overweight or obese, rising to more than a third by the age of 11. This can lead to health problems in later life, so this measurement is an important way of checking how your child is growing and if they are overweight or obese, tackling that now.”
 
If you need to speak to someone locally about the NCMP please call NHS Sefton on 0151 247 7000. Alternatively for more information visit: www.dh.gov.uk/health/tag/ncmp or www.nhs.uk/change4life.

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