Story: Liz Searle
One in five children are overweight in the UK. It can have a serious effect on your health, but making changes to your lifestyle is difficult. The new MEND project (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It) is designed to help children improve their fitness and lose weight.
Seven Burngreave families committed to the ten-week course, which began at Verdon Recreation Centre in September 2007, attending four hours of activities per week and learning about nutrition and fitness.
A second course started on Monday 14th January, facilitated by Saduf Khan and Hayley Parsisson, who demonstrated the benefits of nutrition (eating well, understanding food labels, and planning menus) and physical activity (sports, games and exercises).
Hayley explained why families enjoyed the MEND course so much:
“They developed their motivation and team building skills. Everyone had the chance to take the lead in activities, getting their endorphins going and working as a team.”
Saduf talked about the outstanding results of the last programme – all of the seven families completed it and achieved their targets of improving their diet and fitness. She says that the MEND course is ‘all child-friendly, fun and interactive’, yet needs to be taken seriously as it involves making a lifestyle change.
“MEND is about parents understanding the need for change, every aspect of what they put into their mouths, and how they think about food and their lives.”
Families who took part said they have learnt new exercise routines and how to plan healthy meals; enjoyed trampolining and rounders; and changed their lifestyles in terms of eating more healthily, doing more exercise and being more active. Their comments included:
“You get fitter, but it doesn't feel like it because you're having so much fun”
“We're trying new foods and recipes”
“It's life changing”
“The trampolining session was fantastic”
“The programme should last longer”
If you are interested in joining the next MEND course, get in touch with Aislinn Adams, Hayley Parsisson or Saduf Khan at Verdon Recreation Centre on (0114) 249 1626.