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University Offers Free Help for Coventry Children with Weight Problems

Free Specialist Programme for Children with Weight Problems
For First 30 Families to Contact University

The University of Warwick has just received funding to provide a free pilot programme for 30 families in Coventry with children aged 7-11 year old who face problems with their weight.

The free pilot programme, funded by the Department of Health, will be run and evaluated by Warwick Medical School in the Autumn. The first 30 families to contact the University who fit the overall profile will get a place in a family centred 12 week support programme entitled "Families for Health" that will involve both parents and children and be good fun. And draw on specially trained facilitators who know about nutrition, physical activity, parenting and working with children.

The programme is for families of children aged 7 to 11 years who have difficulty with their weight. It is for both the child and at least one of their parents. If families have more than one child between 7 and 11 they can all attend, whether or not they have weight problems. The families will take part in one 2 and a half hour sessions each week for 12 weeks from September to December 2005, on Wednesdays after school or on Saturday mornings in Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre, Fairfax Street, Coventry. Parents and children will meet in separate groups both of which will cover ideas for supporting family relationships and well-being, and healthy food and activity.

Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown from Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick who is leading the research has said:

"We know from research in other countries that support which involves all the family can help children with their weight, and we want such programmes to be available to families in the UK. The programme we have developed is based on research which shows that parents help is crucial, and that it is easier to make changes to your lifestyle if you are having fun. These first 30 families will help us road test the programme."

She added

"Children who are obese have higher risks of getting joint problems, asthma and diabetes, and in being bullied or teased. They are also more at risk of a number of health problems in adulthood including heart disease."

Families interested in the programme should contact Wendy Robertson at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick Tel: 024 7657 4660 Email:

For further information please contact:

Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown office 024 765 74510

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager, Communications Office, University House
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 8UW
07767 655860 or 024 76 523708 email:

PR57 PJD 3rd August 2005