Record year for Leeds healthy food and drink swap campaign

Caspar Brookfield and Abigail Lister (centre) with their classmates from Tranmere Park Primary School's Skylark Year Two class to celebrate their Smart Swaps success. Picture by Phil Morcom.

Caspar Brookfield and Abigail Lister (centre) with their classmates from Tranmere Park Primary School's Skylark Year Two class to celebrate their Smart Swaps success. Picture by Phil Morcom.

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Leeds children and families have made more than 11,400 healthy choices by swapping junk food and fizzy drinks for healthier alternatives.

Leeds City Council’s Smart Swaps campaign has seen a record-breaking level of support, with the number of swaps recorded across the city increasing by over 75 per cent compared to 2013.

A six-week ‘swapathon’ saw schools and organisations sign-up and record each food and drink swap until the end of February, before the top performers were awarded prizes such as school visits from the Leeds Rhinos and new games kits.

Smart Swaps, which is a Public Health England initiative, is hoped to leave a healthy eating legacy in the city as families are urged to continue registering their healthy swaps.

Pupils from Tranmere Park Primary School, in Guiseley, were awarded for their efforts on Friday with a new after-school games kit.

Teacher Sophie Bell said: “Smart Swaps have been great fun – a really inspiring way to make a change to what we eat and drink and what we do so we are a bit healthier.”

Other organisations rewarded for their swapping success included Calverley Parkside Primary, Horsforth Featherbank Primary, Morley Newlands Primary, Hawksworth Wood Children’s Centre and Asha Neighbourhood Project. Smart Swaps aims to tackle statistics showing that over 13 per cent of Leeds Year Six pupils are overweight.

Coun Lisa Mulherin, chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “It has been another fantastic year for Smart Swaps. Getting a healthy diet can make a big difference to your health and we know good food and drink habits early in life do a lot to help healthy life as you get older.”

Visit www.leedsletschange.co.uk/smartswaps.

Wendy Fawell.

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