The Scottish Government has announced that it is funding to help promote healthy habits in children up to the age of five and their families, with projects aiming to reduce health inequalities and prevent childhood obesity.
Actions are being taken by the government as a result of the 2018 Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan, as part of Scotland’s commitment to ensuring that children have the best start in life as well as the ambitious goal of halving childhood obesity by 2030.
Thanks to this commitment, £600,000 is being allocated to programmes around Scotland such as the Jumpstart Tots project in Ayrshire and Arran. This project, run by NHS Ayrshire and Arran, has already seen success in benefitting a number of young children and families to keep a healthy weight.
Public Health Minister, Maree Todd, said:
“On World Obesity Day we reiterate the importance of improving health and reducing health inequalities across Scotland.
“We want Scotland to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up and we know good nutrition and physical activity is crucial for children’s health and development.
“These projects are crucial to our bold ambition to halve childhood obesity in Scotland by 2030. They tackle inequalities working with families and communities to encourage healthy eating and offering support for those experiencing food insecurity.
“We will continue to support local partners to develop these ambitious and effective plans to help prevent and reduce childhood obesity, alongside policies such as our Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan and Best Start Foods payment, which are central to our commitment to ensure everyone in Scotland has access to heathy, nutritious food.”
With six projects receiving funding, these include:
- NHS Aryshire and Arran for Jumpstart Tots
- NHS Lanarkshire for the Little n Lively programme, which is delivered in partnership with Healthy Valleys
- The Thrive Under Five programme from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
- The training and support of a number of multi-agency professionals in Aberdeenshire, being delivered by NHS Grampian
- NHS Lothian and NHS Fife’s continued delivery of HENRY Core training to workers in early years
- The improvement and increasing of weaning support for NHS Lothian
Dr Ruth Campbell, Consultant Dietician and Public Health Nutrition for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, added:
“The continued early years funding from Scottish Government has enabled NHS Ayrshire and Arran to extend the Jumpstart Tots programme to more families across Ayrshire.
“Jumpstart Tots is an interactive healthy lifestyle programme which offers families with children aged between two and five, a minimum of eight one hour sessions that are planned to suit each individual family’s needs.
“Local parents feedback has been that the Jumpstart Tots programme has helped them make changes that their whole family has been able to benefit from as a result of finding out more about the food they eat.”