Castleford: 'Parents must not ignore child obesity timebomb'

Parents are being urged not to ignore the ticking time-bomb of childhood obesity in a West Yorkshire town.

Youth fitness instructor Craig Moss says some parents are burying their heads in the sand by refusing to accept their children are overweight.

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Mr Moss made the comments as the latest Connect 3 fun fitness programme was launched to help overweight children shed excess pounds at a Castleford community centre.

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He said: "It's classed as the norm now to be overweight.

"If you have got 10 children in the class, you are going to have seven of them that look the same. But actually they are overweight and the other three aren't."

Mr Moss added: "The fact is parents don't necessarily see the child as a problem and, that in itself, is worse than a child actually being

overweight.

"The parents have to recognise the problem first. The kids only eat what the parents give them. Kids don't feed themselves."

The Connect 3 fitness programme sessions, which run from 4pm to 5pm on Mondays, are designed to help children aged between five and 16 control their weight.

Mr Moss, the Glasshoughton Centre's health and active lifestyle co-ordinator, went on: "Children who are finding it hard to control their weight need the top quality instruction and support that this proven programme provides, together with Glasshoughton's top quality facilities in our state-of-the-art activity studio and outdoor multi-use games area."

Children are referred by their schools after weight monitoring letters are sent home. Doctors or other health professionals also refer children.

Mr Moss said youngsters can also self refer. "Just turn up. We know there are plenty of kids out there who simply don't want to play football, but do want to lose weight and reap the rewards in terms of new skills, new friends and increased self esteem. We often find children have been bullied over their weight and we know the Connect 3 programme can really make a difference in their lives."

To book sessions visit: www.glasshoughtoncentre.co.uk or contact Craig Moss on 01977 511234 oremail: craig.moss@wdpct.nhs.uk

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