Weighty issue for parents

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PARENTS and carers of Sheffield pupils are to receive letters about their child’s height and weight – and are being urged not to take offence.

The National Child Measurement Programme, which has been taking place since 2005, will see information being sent about youngsters in reception year (ages four and five) and Year 6 (ages ten and 11).

“The programme is not intended to question individual’s parenting skills but to simply help support parents and carers to make positive changes to their family’s lifestyle,” said Gilly Brenner, who leads the project at NHS Sheffield.

“People may understandably be surprised or upset if they receive a letter saying their child is overweight or obese. The programme does not intend to cause offence or upset, but to support families in their efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Childhood obesity in Sheffield is no longer on the rise, say experts. Initiatives to improve access to healthy food, the launch of cookery clubs and more physical activity are thought to be having an effect.